Skip to main content


See other formats





This is the living, breathing story of one 
of the greatest men of our time, who 
so far has been one of the least under 

It is the story also of that broad seg 
ment of American history which Doug 
las MacArthur personally did so much 
to write. 

There never has been a book quite like 
this with its power and sweep and 
fierce passion for the truth. It is the 
book that in a very real way America 
has been waiting for. It is Everyman s 
MacArthur, the full-length story of the 
boy, the man, the General, 

FRAZIER HUNT S friendship with Doug 
las MacArthur began on the battlefields 
of Franqe during World War I. The 
young general, not quite six years the 
author s senior, had already caught the 
allure of Pacific destiny by the time that 
Hunt made his first long trip to the 
Orient Japan, Siberia, China, the 
Philippines, Australia, Southeast Asia, 
India. Both Hunt and MacArthur, from 
their separate viewpoints, early foresaw 
that America s destiny lay in the Pacific, 

(Continued on back flap) 

92 Mll6h & l I ? -1 8 3 


The untold story of Douglas 


Kansas city public library 

Kansas city, missouri 

Books will be issued only 

on presentation of library card. 
Please report lost cards and 

change of residence promptly. 
Card holders are responsible for 

alt books, records, films, pictures 
or other library materials 
checked out on their cards. 


Blown in By the Draft 

The Rising Temper of the East 

Sycamore Bend 

Ouster: The Last of the Cavaliers 

Bachelor Prince 

This Bewildered World 

One American 

Little Doc 

The Long Trail from Texas 

MacArthur and the War Against Japan 

Cap Mossman: Last of the Great Cowjnen 


/ Fought with Glister 
Horses and Heroes 



NEW YORK 1954 

Copyright 1954 by Frazier Hunt, All rights 

reserved. No portion of this book may be 

reproduced in any form, except by a reviewer 

who may quote brief portions in a review, 

with written permission of the publisher, 

The Devin-Adair Company, 23 East 26th Street, 

New York 10, N. Y. 

Canadian agents: Thomas Nelson Be Sons, Limited, Toronto 

Manufactured in the United States of America 

by American Book-Stratford Press, Inc., New York 

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 54-10811 

First printing, October 1954 
Second printing, October 1954 
Third printing, November 1954 
Fourth printing, December 

"Great minds are like eagles, and build 
their nests in lofty solitude." 


6 1 1 O 4 3 3 

To Arthur MacArthur 
a fine young American 




1 Army Brat 3 

2 The Long Gray Line 18 

3 "The Power That Rules the Pacific . . ." 34 

4 A Wild Night in Vera Cruz 48 

5 Rainbow Over France 60 

6 The End of the Rainbow 84 

7 Back to West Point 98 

8 Return to the Philippines 112 



9 The First Battle 133 

10 The First Penalty for Opposition 153 

11 The Long Years of Exile 1^9 

12 The Race Against Time 209 

13 "7 Shall Return!" 223 



14 1942 War on a Shoestring 275 

15 1943 The Bitter Year 297 

16 MacArthur Escapes the Trap 314 

17 1944 The Magic Touch at Leyte 337 

18 1945 Luzon, the Brilliant Campaign of Liberation 356 



19 A Sunday Morning on the Battleship Missouri 379 

20 MacArthur Saves Japan From the Reds 40? 

21 ... While Washington Lets China Go Communist 432 

22 A War He Was Not Permitted to Win 451 

23 "The Crime of the Century" 478 

24 Old Soldiers Never Die . . . 516 
Index 2 


Where American troops saw service in France in 19*7-1918 65 

Where the 42nd (Rainbow) Division fought in 1918 81 

The fighting on Luzon and the side-slip into Bataan 231 

Corregidor Island 241 

The defense lines on Bataan 247 

Outline of the continental United States superimposed on the area of the 

early counteroffensive in the Southwest Pacific theatre 274 
MacArthur s Southwest Pacific theatre 279 
Importance of the Japanese stronghold of Rabaul 283 
How the Japs tried to double-envelope Port Moresby in New Guinea 289 
MacArthur prepares to take the offensive in New Guinea 29$ 
The offensive in the Solomon and Bismarck seas 305 
The great "bear hug" that won the strategic seas 527 x 

The vital naval battle that saved Leyte Gulf 346 
The key battle lines of the Korean war 455 


The Making 
of the Soldier 



Douglas could never recall any but the vaguest memories of 
the years at Fort Wingate, the lonely little frontier post in the 
Territory of New Mexico, close to the Arizona line. He was a 
babe in arms when in July 1880 the MacArthur family of five 
made the trek there from the Rio Grande. 

It took the train of army wagons eight pitilessly hot days 
and eight miserably cold nights to cross the high desert plateau. 
It was Indian country; to the north of the post stretched the vast 
Navajo reservation, and on west from the Arizona Territory 
border lay the wild mountainous area of Apache Land. 

The Captain s wife and the three little boys took it all in 
true frontier style. There was no coddling of army wives and 
army brats in those hard-bitten days. They all shared the hard 
ships, the lonely years and eternal fears with the men in their 
dusty blue uniforms. 

Toward evening the little world about the lonely post of 
Fort Wingate became afire with color. The boom of the sunset 


gun rolled across the parade ground after the clear notes of the 
bugle sounding retreat. Often in later life Douglas MacArthur 
said that his first conscious memory was the sound of the bu 

In the Spartan life of the old army the growing child was 
conditioned by influences and experiences that were tamped 
down into his subconscious being. And inextricably interwoven 
with these, his own early memories, were the memories of vivid 
stories told to him by his father; tales of the Civil War and of 
the long and colorful years when he served on the Indian fron 
tiers of the Wyoming and Nebraska country. 

So it was that the events of his father s early army life be 
came as real to the young boy as his own daily experiences. It 
was almost as if he could remember far back beyond even his 
birth: remember Abraham Lincoln, the charge up Mission 
Ridge, the high mountains of the North West, the mule trains 
and dusty troopers, marching infantrymen and bearded scouts 
and the pungent smell of sweaty cavalry horses, the echoes of 
sunset guns and bugles sounding all the day through from re 
veille to taps. 

On a May day in 1862, when Douglas father, Arthur Mac- 
Arthur, was about to turn 17, he had journeyed the long way 
from Milwaukee to Washington, with a letter of introduction 
from the Wisconsin governor to Abraham Lincoln. The slender 
boy was taken to the President by Senator Doolittle, and the 
tall, gaunt Lincoln had put his arm around the boy s shoulders 
and explained sympathetically there were no more Presidential 
appointments to West Point for this June, but that the next 
year he could have one. And the President added that he had 
a boy of his own who wanted to go to war. 

But the war drums had been beating a full year and young 
Arthur could wait no longer. His father, Judge Arthur Mac- 
Arthur, at one time lieutenant governor of Wisconsin, called 
on his friends in Milwaukee, and the boy was made a first lieu 
tenant and adjutant in the newly organized 24th Wisconsin 
Infantry. At his first parade formation the young officer s 
high-pitched voice broke, and he took a good-natured ribbing 
from his comrades. But a few weeks later when the outfit saw 
its first service at the brisk little skirmish at Perrysville, Ky., 

and then shortly at Stone River, near Murfreesboro, Tenn., the 
boy adjutant with the high-pitched voice proved his bravery 
and leadership. He rallied the broken companies and was con 
stantly in the center of the hardest fighting. Fear was not in 
him. For the next year and more the regiment was to serve in 
Phil Sheridan s Third Division, and on its battle streamers 
were such names as Chickamauga, Mission Ridge and Lookout 

At Mission Ridge the 24th Wisconsin with other regiments 
of the grd Division was standing in ranks at the foot of the 
steep and dangerous slope that rose in front of them, its 
wooded face cut by enemy rifle pits and gun emplacements. 
Generals Grant, Thomas and Sheridan sat their horses to the 
rear. Suddenly Sheridan was seen to lift his hat, and Captain 
Parsons, temporarily in command of the Wisconsin outfit, tak 
ing the gesture as a command to advance, ordered his regiment 
forward. As Captain Parsons, the sergeant with the colors and 
Adjutant MacArthur moved ahead with their own cheering 
troops close behind, the regiments on their left and right ad 
vanced, and shortly thousands of men were sweeping up the 
ridge, regardless of the murderous fire that poured down on 

Far up the desperate slope the regimental color bearer of 
the 24th, still in the van of the advancing line, suddenly col 
lapsed and the flag went down. The 1 8-year-old MacArthur ran 
ahead, picked up the flag and shouted for the men to follow 
him. In a matter of minutes the boy had planted the banner 
on the crest of the ridge that had shortly before seemed al 
most invincible. 

One or two of the mounted officers at the foot of the long 
slope, watching the wavering line through their field glasses, 
saw the gallant incident. A recommendation for a Medal of 
Honor was made, but somehow it was lost in the whirl of 
events: it was almost 30 years later in a review of Civil War 
medals that the oversight was corrected and the then Major 
Arthur MacArthur of the Regular Army was granted the simple 
bronze decoration that has no peer in the world. 

Shortly after the incident on Mission Ridge, when the greatly 
depleted regiment found all its field officers either killed or 

discharged from service on account of wounds, an election was 
held for a major who would be commanding officer. Without a 
single protest from any of the older captains, Lieutenant Mac- 
Arthur was advanced over their heads and chosen major and 
regimental commander. He was 181^ years old. 

By the early spring of 65 the determined Confederate troops 
found themselves trapped and beaten everywhere by over 
whelming power, and young MacArthur knew that the war 
would soon be over. He wanted a commission in the Regular 
Army to make soldiering his life s profession. He had not yet 
turned 20, but he wore the silver leaves of a lieutenant colonel 
on his shoulders, and he would soon be breveted a colonel of 

The war had been over only a few weeks when young Mac- 
Arthur led the proud remnants of his regiment in its home 
coming parade down Milwaukee streets. Of the 75 officers who 
had entrained that rainy afternoon of November 5, 1862, all 
but 25 had been killed or wounded or taken prisoner. Of the 
1,050 men, exactly 334 were still in line. 

It was the stories of such deeds and glories that filled the im 
agination and the memory of the boy Douglas. 

While he waited in Milwaukee and hoped for an appointment 
in the newly re-organized Army of the United States, young 
Colonel Arthur MacArthur read law. The studious habits he 
acquired never left him. Some ceaseless lash of ambition drove 
him to use his spare hours in study and in quiet preparation 
for whatever life might hold for him, 

On June 25, 1866, slightly over a year after he had been 
mustered out of service, he received his commission as a first 
lieutenant in the re-organized Regular Army. Within three 
months he was commissioned a captain in the g6th Infantry, 
then on the Indian Frontier under the command of the griz 
zled old fighter, Brevet Major General John Gibbon, one-time 
commander of Wisconsin s famous Iron Brigade. Three years 
later the g6th was consolidated with the 7th Infantry and 
shortly afterwards Captain MacArthur was assigned to K 

Company, igth Infantry, then at Fort Rawlins, Wyoming Ter 

Once again the young soldier was in Indian country the 
beautiful, high country, with its constant excitement and the 
eternal hope of action that somehow never quite came off. In 
lonely evenings years later the captain used to tell his sons 
about these days when he had helped guard the vanishing fron 
tier. Douglas and his brother never tired of hearing the tales of 
Custer and Wesley Merritt and the incomparable Ranald Mac- 
Kenzie. The three had been West Pointers of the classes of 61 
and 62, and like the young boy colonel, from Wisconsin, they 
had won fame in their youth. 

Ordinarily -Captain Arthur MacArthur was a reserved man, 
but in the eyes of his little boys he was the most romantic fig 
ure that ever lived. They would never lose the love of country 
and flag and honor that he implanted in them. And there was 
another word duty that he constantly used. 

In October of 1874 Captain Arthur MacArthur and his com 
pany were ordered to Jackson Post near New Orleans. In seven 
years of soldiering in the high Indian country, Arthur MacAr 
thur had discovered that there was much justice on the Indian 
side. Many years later when stars were on his shoulders instead 
of captain s bars, the harsh truths that he had learned in the 
long fruitless campaigns and endless duties on the Indian fron 
tiers were to be of great value in solving the problem of han 
dling the Filipinos and their demands for independence. He 
passed these lessons down to his sons Douglas and Arthur. 

Yankee soldiers were far from popular in the New Orleans 
country a decade after the war ended. Nevertheless there were 
many marriages between southern girls and northern men in 
uniform. During the Mardi Gras festival in 1875 Captain Mac- 
Arthur met Mary Pinkney Hardy, a lovely young lady from 
Norfolk who had come down to spend the gay season with 

When she returned to the large family home at Riveredge, 
at the foot of the bridge across the river at Norfolk, in what 
later was called Berkley, it was not long before the Yankee sol 
dier reported there. 

It became a legend that at the wedding, May 19, 1875, two 


of the bride s brothers who had attended the Virginia Mili 
tary Institute and fought for the Confederacy were conspicuous 
by their absence; it seemed quite sufficient to them that three 
of the older sisters had already married northerners whom they 
had met at the family summer home in Massachusetts. Time 
however was to dull the tiny feud. In the late fall of 1951, 
when General of the Army Douglas MacArthur paid his first 
visit to Norfolk since boyhood, he spoke at the dedication of a 
memorial erected by popular subscription on the site of the old 
Colonial house where his mother was born. He made proud 
reference to his mother s brothers who had fought for the Stars 
and Bars: "From this spot Hardys followed *Marse Robert s 
flag on Virginia s bloody fields and a Hardy was at Old Jack s* 
elbow that dark night when he fell on the sodden Plank Road 
near Chanceliorsville." 

Mary Pinkney Hardy, known in the family as Pinky, on both 
ancestral sides was from early American stock that had settled 
in Virginia and North Carolina before the turning of the i8th 
century. She was born on May 22, 1852, the eleventh of 
fourteen children, ten of whom grew to maturity. 

For many years her father, Thomas Asbury Hardy, was a 
successful cotton broker in Norfolk, and in 1858 he purchased 
a vast plantation called Burnside, five miles from Henderson, 
North Carolina. It may have been that some ray of intuition 
led the father to anticipate the outbreak of the great civil con 
flict, and thus provide a refuge for his family when actual war 

After the war the family moved temporarily to Baltimore, 
where Mary and three of her sisters for a time attended the 
Convent of the Visitation Order in Catonsville, Maryland, al 
though her parents were not Catholics. The rest of her educa 
tion came from private tutors. Shortly the family returned to 
the great house on the outskirts of Norfolk. Here the go-year- 
old Yankee captain and the lovely 22-year-old southern aristo 
crat were married by Rev. Father Matthew O Keefe, the rector 
of St. Mary s Church her personal choice at the time. Later 
the bride was to become permanently associated with the Epis 
copal Church. 

The first son, Arthur, Jr., was born August i, 1876, while the 

captain was on detached duty in Washington. Four months 
later he and his family reported back to his K Company, igth 
Infantry, at New Orleans. A second son, named Malcolm, was 
born in October of 78. 

K was moved to the government arsenal at Little Rock the 
following year, and it was in a pleasant two-family dwelling in 
Officers Row that Douglas came into the world on January 
26, 1880. Five months later K Company joined the rest of 
the igth Regiment at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, but almost 
immediately K, with four other companies and the regimental 
band, was ordered to Las Lumas on the Rio Grande in New 
Mexico, to embark on the eight-day wagon-train journey to dis 
tant Fort Wingate. 

Two years later the captain was granted the first long leave 
in his 17 years of regular service, and the family spent six 
months at the great house in Norfolk. Toward the end of the 
holiday death struck blindly at the little family. Two faded 
yellow telegrams that are still preserved tell the story. 


APRIL 9, 1883 




A wire came back granting the request. A second wire was 
dispatched almost immediately to the Adjutant General: 


It was the middle son named Malcolm who had succumbed 
to the virulent outbreak of measles. His death proved a terrible 


blow to the mother. But gradually the sorrow was forgotten In 
her growing devotion to her son Douglas, It never failed in i* 
completeness to the day when she died 52 years later. 

This devotion between him and his mother was one of the 
dominant factors of his life. When he was 71 and returned 
from Korea, exalted by the nation s reaction to his recall, he 
stood on the spot where the Hardys had lived so long and re 
ferred to her as "my sainted mother/ 

The MacArthur family numbered only four when orders came 
for K Company to march overland from Fort Wingate the 300 
miles to tiny Fort Selden, roughly 60 miles above El Paso and 
the nearby Fort Bliss. It was a matter of accepted army rou 
tine that this austere assignment had come to Captain MacAr 

The single-story, flat-roofed adobe buildings of the little post 
lay in a windswept bend of the river, on the east bank of the 
Rio Grande. To the north was the forbidding and waterless 
desert that for more than 200 years the Spanish had called 
La Jornada del Muerto, the Journey of Death, The Mascalero 
Apache Indian reservation was a bare hundred miles to the 
east, across the San Andres Range and the deadly white sands. 
Beyond the Sacramento Mountains stretched the broad Pecos 

Company K with its two or three officers, its assistant sur 
geon and 46 enlisted men comprised the lonely garrison. Most 
of the time Mrs. MacArthur was the only officer s wife at the 
post, and there were not even the colorful guard mounts and 
parades to break the deadly monotony. Instead, there was al 
ways real danger of marauding Apaches who now and again 
swept across the bleak mountains and deserts. 

For two and a half years the captain and his wife met the 
endless aftd weary routine of this tiny isolated post without 
complaint or slackness of duty. It was unquestionably hard on 
the health and patience of the Virginia aristocrat who served 
with him, but she, too, was of the gallant breed of the old 

Douglas grew more and more to resemble her in looks and 
temperament. Even before the family left Fort Selden, she had 
begun to implant in his eager mind the idea that he would 
grow up to be a great man. Some day he must be a general as 
distinguished as Robert E. Lee. 

At the same time his father, poring over his books of eve 
nings, quietly began the education of his boys. Along with 
the 3 Rs, he instilled in them a stern sense of obligation. They 
were always to do what was right and just, and forever their 
country was to come first in their hearts. 

Life was far from dull for the two brothers. They had 
their own little spotted Navajo ponies to ride, and there were 
hitch-hikes on the mule-drawn water wagon that made its regu 
lar trip to the Rio Grande, a mile and a half from the post. 
And there were visiting officers and mounted details from the 
cavalry post at Fort Stanton on to the east that guarded the 
nearby Mescalero Apache reservation. Toward twilight each 
evening the company would go through the ceremony of re 
treat and the lowering of the flag, and while the bugle sounded 
the two little boys would stand at stiff attention. 

And there was the time when the few mules and horses of 
the post, lazily loose-herded by a sleepy sentinel, suddenly were 
sent into a panic by an object as unaccountable as a gray ghost, 
or a mirage moving down from the sandy wastes of the Jornado 
del Muerto. By chance the boys were sitting nearby on their 
pintos, and they were as flabbergasted as the soldier, rubbing 
his eyes and swearing by the Virgin he had had nothing to 
drink since last pay day. For there in stately loneliness stood a 
shaggy camel. Nine-year-old Arthur recognized it by its un 
gainly shape, and the pair galloped to their father s office to 
tell him of the visitor. 

The captain, knowing his military history, at once rec 
ognized the desert phenomenon as a survivor of the herd of 
camels that Jefferson Davis, when Secretary of War, had 
brought from Egypt by chartered ship in 1855. They were to 
serve as pack animals to supply the chain of isolated forts in 
this vast desert Indian country, but gradually they strayed 
away from army service. 

Late in 1886 the welcome orders came to Captain MacAr- 


thur that he was to take his K Company to Fort Leavenworth, 
the great post on the west bank of the Missouri, 20 miles or 
so north of busy, growing Kansas City. 

Jt was a new and thrilling world the 6 1/ -year-old Douglas 
now entered. Here was a regular school in which he was regis 
tered as a second-grade pupil So conscientious had been the 
home tutoring by his father that the older brother Arthur, just 
turned 10, had no trouble enrolling in the sixth grade. 

It was wonderful for the boys to have playmates their own 
age and to learn games and make friends. And there was an 
endless flow of excitement in the sprawling post itself. Douglas 
never tired of watching the mounted troops drill and the artil 
lery battery fire its practice rounds. Then there were the 
formal afternoon parades when the colonel and his staff sat 
their fine horses and saluted as the mounted men and the long- 
barrelled guns and caissons rolled by, and the foot com 
panies wheeled into company front. 

The father s once bright hopes for high rank were slowly 
turning into grave doubts. He was definitely and irreparably 
behind the Civil War promotion hiimp. Yet despite these years 
of discouragement and partial frustration, he never ceased his 
study and quiet preparation. 

When he found out that there was to be a vacant majority in 
the Adjutant General s department, he asked several of his old 
army friends for letters of recommendation. A typical reply was 
the one written to the Adjutant General by Brevet Major Gen 
eral Alexander McDowell McCook, head of the Cavalry and 
Infantry school and post commander at Leavenworth: 

He is beyond question the most distinguished Captain in the 
army of the U. S. for gallantry and good conduct in war. He is a 
student, a master of his profession, has legal ability, which fits 
him for the position he seeks, is exceptional in habit, temperate 
at all times, yet modest withal. 

That summer of 1889 his appointment as a major arrived, 
and he was ordered to report for duty in the Adjutant General s 
office in Washington. He had by now been a captain almost 23 

In Washington the newly promoted major missed the busy 

routine of a company command, and Douglas and his older 
brother found no substitute for the color and excitement of Fort 
Leavenworth or even for the tiny post on the far-away Rio 
Grande. But there was the exciting competition of school, and 
much talk soon began of young Arthur s hope to get an ap 
pointment to West Point. The father pulled every string he 
knew, but in the end he had to compromise on an appointment 
to Annapolis for his elder son. 

Douglas now spent many happy hours with his grandfather, 
the retired judge, Arthur MacArthur, Sr., a gentle old man 
with wise, kindly eyes. He had first seen the light of day in Glas 
gow on the ^6th of January, 1815, 65 years to the day before 
the birthday of his grandson, Douglas. The Scots boy with his 
sturdy, widowed mother had voyaged to Boston on one of the 
first steam packets. He was graduated in law by the time he 
was 25, and he hung out his shingle in Springfield, Massachu 

Shortly afterward he was made judge advocate of the West 
ern Military District of Massachusetts, and married Aurelia 
Belcher. A son named Arthur, Jr., born on June 2, 1845, was 
four years old when the family left for the booming western 
city of Milwaukee. 

Four years later the energetic young lawyer was elected lieu 
tenant governor of Wisconsin and almost immediately found 
himself in a dangerous and complicated political fight. In order 
to avert bloodshed he retired as acting governor after the State 
Supreme Court had debarred the incumbent. As a result of 
his cool-headed action in stepping aside and protecting the 
good name of Wisconsin, he gained many admirers. When his 
term as lieutenant governor ended, he was made judge of the 
Second Judicial Circuit. In 1870 President Grant appointed 
him a justice of the United States Court of the District of Co 
lumbia, and he served on the high bench for 18 years. He 
had only recently retired from the federal bench in 1889 when 
his army officer son, Arthur, Jr., and his family settled down in 
the capital for a tour of duty. In September 1893, about the 
time his eldest soldier-son and namesake was assigned as assist 
ant adjutant general to the Department of Texas at Fort Sam 
Houston in San Antonio, the Judge journeyed to Atlantic 


City for a few days by the sea. He died there in the midst of his 
little holiday. 

Douglas was lacking three months of 14 when the three Mac- 
Arthurs detrained at San Antonio. The new West Texas Mili 
tary Academy had just commenced its first year, and he was 
immediately enrolled there. It meant much to the boy to be 
back again where there were troops and the colorful trappings 
of army life. Fort Sam was one of the most important posts of 
the entire Army at this time, and by a big margin it had the 
largest garrison of any military reservation the boy had known. 

There were pleasant quarters for the major and a maid for 
his wife, and life was good. Yet somehow the MacArthurs 
seemed to live a quieter life than most of the other officer fami 
lies. With them there was no constant exchange of calls and teas 
and dinner parties. Of evenings the major, now approaching 
his 505, continued his endless studies. 

An interesting sidelight on this extraordinary man is found 
in his efficiency report dated "Adjutant General s Office, 
Washington, May i, 1890." In the section under the heading 
Remarks is a report of his personal qualifications written out 
by Major Mac Arthur himself, in answer to a request by the De 
partment. It read: 

Investigations in Political Economy pursued for many years, 
through writings of modern economists including Adam Smith, 
Thomas Robert Malthus, David Ricardo, John Stuart Mill, 
Carey, Bagehot, Leslie, Jevons and many other standard writers. 

Special inquiry made into the colonial and revolutionary period 
of American history, the formation and adoption of the present 
Constitution, and the subsequent Constitutional development of 
the Republic; together with a comparison of the American and 
English constitutions. 

Also quite an extensive examination into the civilization and 
institutions of China. 

From his first year at the little military school, young Doug 
las, too, proved his flair for scholarship and for general 
intellectual attainment. When he graduated in 1897 as valedic- 

torian, his 4-year average was 97.33. He had already learned 
the art of concentration, and it was clear that he had an un 
usually fine mind. 

He was not a rugged, closely knit youth, but in his slender 
body was the spirit that his father had possessed at this age on 
his first battlefield. Fifty-five years after Douglas graduated, a 
classmate, Garahl Walker, wrote out these few words of remi 

I thought he was too light for the football team; however, 
they took him and made him quarterback which did not require 
so much weight but brains and nerve. He held the job down. 
The scrimmages were hard on him. You could see his lips turn 
blue but he would get up and fight it again. I know all the boys 
believed in him and I wish they were living to see the fight he is 
making now. 

Certainly he had perfect physical coordination and always a 
determined will to win. He played shortstop on the baseball 
team and developed into a star. 

During his four years at the Academy Douglas was a day 
student. A school rule restricted the appointment of the various 
cadet officers to boys who were regular boarders, and he had to 
be satisfied with the rank of first sergeant of A Company, 
but this did not keep him from organizing and training the 
prize-winning drill squad. 

As far back as he could remember, his father had expounded 
to him the glories of West Point and had gone about the task 
of lining up an appointment. Time and again the major 
brought to his home some recently graduated young shavetail 
to tell his son of the customs and regulations of the Academy, 
the type of entrance examinations and the courses of study. 
Major Mac Arthur still looked to his home town of Milwaukee 
and the Congressman there to give his son the golden chance 
at an appointment. 

Douglas was ready now for the great test. He was 171/2 and 
physically developed and mentally mature. His character was 
set. He was reserved and studious. He had learned to keep his 
eye on the ball. He knew exactly what he wanted to do and 
where he wanted to go. West Point was the immediate goal. 


First of all he must get an appointment, but there seemed to 
be no opening in sight. Finally a note came from Congressman 
Theobald Otjen, of Milwaukee, explaining that he would 
hold a competitive examination for a West Point candidate and 
alternate in the late spring of 1898. He would be glad to have 
the son of his old friend enter the competition. 

In January 1897 Major MacArthur had been advanced from 
assistant adjutant general to adjutant general of the Department 
of Texas. In September he was promoted to lieutenant colonel, 
and the following month he was assigned to the Department of 
the Dakotas at St. Paul. 

In order to forestall any question about the correctness of 
Douglas entering the competitive examination for the West 
Point appointment, it was decided that he and his mother 
would establish their residence in Milwaukee while the father 
proceeded alone to his new post in St. Paul. So for more than 
a year Mrs. MacArthur and Douglas occupied comfortable 
quarters in the old Plankinton House, and he studied inten 
sively for the tests. 

On a February day in 1898 the country was shaken with the 
report of the blowing up of the battleship Maine in Havana 
harbor, and on April 7 war was declared. 

Lt. Colonel Arthur MacArthur lost no time in getting in 
touch with his friend Major General Henry Clark Corbin, Ad 
jutant General of the U. S. Army. He was first assigned to 
Tampa and then to Chickamauga Park as adjutant general of 
the grd Army Corps. On June i, 1898, the day before he was 
53, the hoped-for telegram arrived that announced his appoint 
ment as brigadier general of volunteers: 



The new brigadier general immediately wired the news to 
his wife in Milwaukee, but her pride and happiness over his 
star was dimmed by her fears that he might not be able to 
withstand the rigors of a tropical campaign. 

Four days after the telegram arrived, Douglas, now 18, be 
gan to take the competitive examination for the appointment 
to West Point. When the marks were announced he led off with 
an average of 93.3%, and his nearest competitor rated 77.9. 

But despite the unusually high scholastic marks he made in 
the competitive examination, his actual entrance into the Mil 
itary Academy was postponed until June 1899, when his pred 
ecessor graduated. He decided to take special instruction un 
der a Professor McLenegan, principal of the West End High 
School. For some months he took courses in chemistry, physics 
and other studies that required laboratory equipment. Outside 
the school rooms he continued to study advanced algebra, 
English and history. 

On July 31, 1898, his father arrived in the Philippines with 
4,700 men of the Third Expedition. In August General 
Merritt ordered the city surrounded and the Spanish garrison 
attacked. The underfed, underpaid and neglected Spanish 
troops put up only a token defense, and with a small loss of life 
the Americans took over Manila. To the new brigadier general 
the victory brought the rank of major general of volunteers. 

Now came reports that trouble was brewing between the 
Americans and General Emilio Aguinaldo s native troops, who 
claimed that they had won their national independence, and 
that the new white conquerors should turn over to them their 
Pearl of the Orient. 

On the morning of February 5, 1899, cable dispatches re 
ported that fighting had broken out on the northern edge of 
Manila, and MacArthur s army division was advancing to the 
northward. His six volunteer regiments drawn from the farms 
and ranches and small towns west of the Mississippi responded 
gallantly to his spirited leadership. 

Among the officers in his division there were three who es 
pecially won his friendship and admiration. Of these, two were 
from the Regular Army: Captain J. Franklin Bell, his roving 
scout, and Captain Peyton C. March, his own senior aide. The 
third officer was a stubby, picturesque fighting man, Frederick 
Funston, colonel of the gist Kansas Volunteers. All three were 
to profit by their services under the generous MacArthur. 
Within the year Bell would rise from a captain in the regu- 


lars to a brigadier general of volunteers; March from a captain 
to a full colonel of volunteers; and Funston, trained in the hard 
school of the Cuban insurrection, from the colonel of the soth 
Kansas to a brigadier general of volunteers. There was another 
young officer who had caught MacArthur s eye a dashing lieu 
tenant of the Signal Corps, a Milwaukee lad named Billy 
Mitchell, son of the Wisconsin Senator who had served beside 
Arthur MacArthur in the 24th Wisconsin. 

The hard-fighting soldier was overjoyed at the prospect of 
his youngest son entering West Point in June 1899. "He 
told me that he started Douglas towards West Point the day he 
was born," General Peyton C. March, Chief of Staff during 
World War I, recalled five decades after Douglas entered the 

Late in May 1899, as Douglas and his mother journeyed 
eastward to West Point, they read newspaper dispatches of the 
severe fighting going on at that moment north of Manila. Gen 
eral MacArthur had suddenly emerged as one of the heroes of 
this war. 

Strange and unaccountable consequences, however, were to 
come from this well-deserved publicity. 


Douglas had no trouble passing the West Point entrance ex 
aminations. On his physical report was written Normal. 

His height was marked down as 5 ft., io% in - He weighed 
133 pounds, and he was 19 years and 4 months old. The report 
bore the date of June 3, 1899. 

Soon after his entrance his mother embarked on the some 
what unusual procedure of settling at the old West Point Hotel 

toward the north end of the Military Reservation and off limits 
to the cadets. Until two years later, when her husband re 
turned from his three-year tour in the Philippines, she spent 
much of her time there. 

At this particular period physical hazing, "exercising," as it 
was called in the cadet vernacular, was probably about as severe 
as ever in the long history of the Academy. On July i, 1899, the 
members of MacArthur s plebe class finished with "beast" bar 
racks and their initial breaking-in by the lordly first class 
men or seniors. They were in summer camp under the mercies 
of the yearlings or sophomores, who had recently completed 
their own plebe year and been "recognized." Only the members 
of the yearling class were permitted by custom to indulge 
themselves in exercising the new cadets. 

At the time, the newspapers were filled with cables regarding 
the Luzon fighting and the fine part General MacArthur was 
playing in the campaign. To certain of the more perverse year 
lings this was excuse enough to turn on his tall, serious son, 
who, like all good plebes, was doing his level best to mind his 
own business. 

His tentmate was Frederick H. Cunningham from Utica, 
who had graduated that June from Hamilton College. After 
Cunningham had been in camp for six weeks he resigned 
largely in disgust over the hazing he had witnessed and on 
August 20 of this year of 1899 there appeared in the then 
powerful New York Sun an unsigned letter to the editor. It 
described the various forms of West Point hazing, including 
the practice of calling out a plebe and forcing him to fight with 
bare fists the best boxer of his weight and height in the year 
ling class. The unfair part of the custom was that if the plebe 
happened to win, he would have to fight another third class 
man, and on and on until he finally was whipped. 

Shortly before Cadet Cunningham had resigned, there oc 
curred one of a number of futile Academy investigations into 
this problem of physical hazing. The superintendent and the 
commandant had on a Sunday called the plebe class to a 
room in the Academic Building and taken aside and interro 
gated several of the cadets who were under suspicion of having 
been badly hazed. MacArthur was one of those who were ques- 

tioned. He refused to divulge the names of any of the yearlings 
who had exercised him. 

With the cadets back in barracks in the fall and the aca 
demic year begun, the serious exercising was ended, and the 
Academy resumed the even tenor of its isolated ways. Appar 
ently the hazing episodes of this particular summer of 1899 had 
been forgotten. It was not until a year later that a storm of 
violent public protest and censure hit West Point, mostly cen 
tering on indignities practiced on certain members of the class 
preceding MacArthur s. 

In this plebe class of 1898 was an unfortunate boy, Oscar 
Lyle Booz from Bristol, Pa. Young Booz apparently was gen 
erally disliked by the upperclassmen, and life was made un 
pleasant for him. It was probably true that the persistent 
hazing he received and the calling-out fights he experienced 
were reflected in his poor scholarship and his being dismissed 
in the first-term examinations. 

Almost two years later the young man died of tuberculosis 
at his home in eastern Pennsylvania. The Congressman from 
his district rose in the Lower House and bitterly charged that 
West Point hazing was the cause of his death. 

Douglas was a third classman, or yearling, that fall of 1900, 
when this scandal which had occurred two years previously was 
played up in the metropolitian papers. Already Douglas had 
made his mark at the Point, standing No. i in his class 
and showing the superiority and leadership that was to mark 
his half century of soldiering. 

On December 11, 1900, President McKinley ordered a spe 
cial court of inquiry to convene at once at West Point, "to in 
vestigate the alleged treatment of former Cadet Oscar L. Booz" 
and "the extent to which new cadets are now subject to such 

The preliminary days of the hearing were almost exclusively 
concerned with the Booz matter that had occurred in the sum 
mer of 1898, the year before MacArthur s class entered. But 
before long the testimony switched to more recent episodes, 
and soon the hazing of young MacArthur became one of the 
principal matters of investigation. 

On January 18 his case was taken up in great detail. His 

answers to the questions were shrewd and carefully worded. 
It was evident from the start that he was determined not to 
involve any upperclassman still in the Academy, and to mini 
mize the incident in every way possible, thus protecting the 
good name of West Point at any cost save that of giving false 
testimony. After he was sworn by the Chairman of the Congres 
sional Committee, the questions and answers began: 

Q Mr. MacArthur, we have received a great deal of evidence that 
you were severely hazed. The committee is desirous of having 
you tell your own story in your own way, giving to us the names 
of the cadets by whom you were hazed, the date, as near as you 
can, the time, the place, and the physical effect on you personally 
of the hazing at that time. 

A I cannot tell exactly the time; it was after I had been a plebe 
about a month, I should say. 

Q And the year, please? 

A 1899. The hazing I underwent I have seen something about; I 
have heard accounts of it in the newspapers, and elsewhere, and, 
like all such matters that start out as a comparatively small thing, 
it has grown to very large proportions. The hazing that I under 
went was in no way more severe or more calculated to place me in 
a serious physical condition than has ordinarily taken place. I was 
not in any physical condition that would tend to injure me at all. 
I have heard it stated, in fact I have seen it in the newspapers, that 
I was at one time hazed until I suffered severe convulsions. No 
such affair took place. I was hazed at the time in question until 
I was quite tired; I might say more than that. As far as my phys 
ical muscles were concerned I did not have complete control of 
them, but as far as being in convulsions, or in any way delirious, 
or anything of that kind, or out of my head, I most emphatically 
deny it. ... I was not obliged to attend hospital for any cause 
during plebe camp. On the night in question I think I was suf 
fering with a case of exaggerated cramps. That is the only thing 
I could call it. The place of exercising was over in camp, in one 
of the "A" company tents. I did not exercise, I do not think, 
longer than men frequently have and suffer no consequences at 
all. I was not in a condition of nausea that would cause any bad 
effects. . . . 

Q What did your exercising consist of? 

A It consisted of eagling. (Continued squatting to the heels, and 
then rising, with the arms fully outstretched.) 


Q How many, please? 

A I don t know; I would say, at a rough estimate well, I could not 

even make a rough estimate. I did not keep track. 
Q Have you any recollection? 
A Eagling was interspersed with other exercising; I would do one 

and then the other. 
Q How many, should you say, in all? 
A I should say, perhaps, 250 would be a good estimate. 
Q And what else, please? 
A Hanging from a stretcher. (Hanging by the hands from a tent 


Q How long did you have to hang from a stretcher? 

A I should say two minutes at a time. 

Q In all, how many minutes? 

A I don t know. The whole performance, I should say, took an hour, 
and was about equally divided between the different exercises. 

Q What were the others? 

A Eagling, hanging from stretcher, what is known as dipping, and 
I think that was all. . . . (Dipping consisted in lying face down 
on the floor, and then pumping up and down with the arms.) 

Q You say you were suffering from cramps at the time you exer 

A Afterwards. 

Interminably the questioning went on. The 2O-year-old boy 
was pitted against distinguished and experienced probers, but 
he continued to shield the cadets still in school who might 
have taken part in his hazing. Nor would he admit until driven 
to a corner that he suffered from anything more than cramps, 
and that the word "convulsions" was the proper one to de 
scribe his own condition when he finally returned to his tent. 
But he could not dodge some of the expertly framed ques 

Q Did you consider it cruel at that time? 

A I would like to have you define cruel? 

Q All right, sir* Disposed to inflict suffering; indifference in the 

presence of suffering; hard-hearted; inflicting pain mentally or 

physically; causing suffering. 
A I should say perhaps it was cruel, then. 
Q You have qualified your answer. Was it or was it not cruel? 
A Yes, sir. 

Q And you did not expect it was part of the essential education of 

an officer to be subjected to such cruelty? 
A I do not think it is essential; no, sir. . . . 
Q And you believe that an Army officer, or a man who may become 

an officer of the United States Army should not treat one of his 

fellow-officers, or some one who is going to be a fellow-officer, in 

that cruel manner? 
A I should say not; no, sir. 

A week later in the final testimony taken by the court of 
inquiry in Chicago, the lid was blown off the entire MacArthur 
episode by his former tentmate, Cunningham, the plebe who 
had resigned from the Academy after being there less than 
two months, although he had never once been exercised. His 
testimony was from the beginning pointed toward the Mac- 
Arthur hazing. 

Q Do you remember an occasion when MacArthur had been in a 
tent being exercised and on returning to your tent was overcome? 

A I do. 

Q What time in the evening was it? 

A We returned from mess and I went to the sink; I knew that he 
had been summoned to report to some tent on the company street 
Company A. When I returned from the sink he was gone; it 
was probably about half past 7 or 8 o clock. 

Q And when did you see him? 

A I saw him reel into the tent about an hour later. 

Q Then what took place? 

A I got up and caught him as he fell. 

Q And what did you do to him? 

A I laid him gently on the floor of the tent. 

Q In what condition was he then? 

A He was lucid. 

Q Was he in violent convulsions? 

A He classified them as cramps. 

Q I am asking you to tell what you thought. 

A I think if you saw him in the same condition on the street you 
would call them convulsions. 

Q Was his body writhing? 

A Yes, sir; he showed the most activity, however, in his limbs. 

Q To what extent were his limbs in motion? 


A To such an extent I had to hold them to keep them still, and 
finally he asked me to throw a blanket under them in order that 
the company officers could not hear his feet striking the floor. He 
had no control over them. 

Q Did you put a blanket under them? 

A I did. 

Q Was there anything put in his mouth? 

A There was nothing. 

Q Did he ask for anything to put in his mouth? 

A He suggested that if he cried out, to prevent his cries being heard, 
that we put a blanket in his mouth. There was no suggestion of 
cotton at all. 

Q Was there anybody else in the tent besides yourself and Mac- 

A I cannot distinctly remember now; I am not sure; but I think 
Smith, M., was on guard that night; I am not sure, but I know 
as soon as MacArthur returned his inquisitors came around back 
of the tent and were much concerned over what they had done. 

Q What did they do? 

A As near as I can remember they did almost everything in the 
exercising line. 

Q I mean, what did they do back of the tent? 

A I believe Barry (who was the yearling who had done most of the 
hazing and was later sent home) ordered someone a fourth-class 

Q Do you mean Barry? 

A Yes, sir, Barry. He ordered someone to go to the tank and get 
water for him, and when it was brought he used it so far as he 
could bathing his head. 

Q Do you remember his condition in the morning? 

A He got up feeling very well, he felt, to use a slang expression, 
very "all in." 

Q What is the meaning of that? 

A He did not feel like doing anything. He was urged by some 
I do not know the names of them to go on sick report, but he 
would not do it. 

Q He turned out for drill and other duties as if nothing had hap 
pened, did he not? 

A Yes, sir. . . . 

Q You think that MacArthur was let alone after that? 

A Yes; I know he was, because I heard I do not know who it was 
told me. but I heard it the next morning that by his plucky 


work the night before in the soiree that he had got a bootlic 

on the whole corps. 
Q Do you know who it was? 
A I am under the impression it was Barry. 
Q The exerciser? 
A Yes; he came around with the statement that he was making n 

apologies or did not apologize for things of that sort, and the 

he followed it with that remark. 
Q Is it fair to say that they indicated a deep concern over the sever 

hazing that MacArthur had had the night before? 
A It would indicate a slight worry on the part of those who had ii 

dulged in it. 
Q What was meant by bootlick; you said that Barry had told Ma< 

Arthur that he had received a bootlick from the whole corps 
A That he had got a bootlick on the whole corps. 
Q What did that mean? 
A It means admiration for his plucky resistance of the night befoi 

and that they were proud of him, and they would practically giv 

him the glad hand after that, and I believe that the effect of i 

after that was that he was not hazed. 

Q You said physically MacArthur was a pretty good man? 
A Yes, sir. 

Q He is not what you would term an athletic man, physically, is he 
A He is tall; his muscles are long, not bunchy; he would make 

good baseball player, and he is a good boxer. 
Q If he was a good boxer and athlete why didn t he resist thi 

brutal hazing, and fight? He understood, did he not, that this ws 

his alternative? Can you imagine why? 
A No; save that he did not want to; and then, too, I believe th 

fact that his mother was at the post led him to put up with mor 

than he otherwise would have done. 
Q Now what offense against the upper class code had MacArthu 

committed the first time that you say he was hazed? 
A MacArthur s real offense was that he was the son of Generz 


Q That was a continuous offense, then? 
A Yes; he didn t get over that. 

Q Do you know of any charge they made against him? 
A Yes, they said he did not brace. MacArthur always walked ere( 

and was not slouchy he could not walk slouchy if he trie< 
Q Was MacArthur the sort of man who was vain of his ancestrj 
A No, sir; there was not a finer fellow in the class. 

It was clear that MacArthur had taken the worst they could 
give him, including the terrible sweat bath; that he never gave 
up or tried to dead beat; that he had protected the upperclass- 
men still in the Academy who might have been involved, and 
used only the names of three yearling cadets who had been dis 

Out of it all was to come a calm resolve on his part that he 
would never haze a fellow cadet, and that if the chance ever 
came he would do everything he could to abolish the evil and 
stupid custom. 

Early in September of his plebe year when the academic year 
began and the classes returned from the tent camp to barracks, 
MacArthur was approached by a first classman named Hyde 
and asked if he would room with him. 

It was a most unusual proposition, and Douglas must have 
been a little flattered by the invitation from an ordinarily inac 
cessible first classman, whom he was not supposed even to 
address. Living West Pointers of the time can remember no 
similar case. It was to work out all to the good for the plebe. 
Regulations permitted a first classman s lights to be on until 
ii o clock, instead of the usual "Lights Out" one hour earlier. 
This extra study period was well used by Douglas. 

Each evening after supper, weather permitting, Douglas in 
variably walked for a half-hour with his mother. That she 
spent most of her time during this two-year period at the old 
Carney Hotel on the post caused no particular comment. Later 
the Corps would chuckle over the assumed (but highly exag 
gerated) rivalry that supposedly existed between Mrs. Arthur 
MacArthur and Mrs. Frederick Dent Grant, daughter-in-law of 
General U. S. Grant, over the scholastic and military competi 
tion of their sons. 

After the graduation parade in June 1900, the remaining 
three classes gathered to hear the reading of the names of the 
cadet officers and non-coms appointed for the summer camp. 
Of the new yearling class Grant s name was read first in the list 
of temporary corporals with MacArthur s name second; later, at 

the end of the summer camp when the permanent appoint 
ments were made for the scholastic year, the order was re 
versed, and Douglas became senior corporal. It was the highest 
cadet rank he could attain as a third classman. 

When the scholastic standings for the first year were posted 
young MacArthur stood No. i in the order of merit for his 
class. Grant was second. He had beaten MacArthur only in 

Early in the summer camp the yearling corporal caught 
the eye of the tactical officer of A Company, Captain Edmund 
M. Blake, Field Artillery, who was standing with Cadet Cap 
tain Charles Burnett, of A, watching Corporal MacArthur drill 
a squad of awkward plebes. Finally Blake turned to the cadet 
captain and said, "There s the finest drill master I have ever 

West Point at this time was a completely isolated and self- 
contained institution. Cadets were absorbed with their own 
problems and activities. But it was a little different with Mac- 
Arthur. The presence of his mother during his first two years 
there not only furnished him with a terrific stimulant and 
driving power but kept him in touch with the outside world. 

In the summer of 1900 he and his mother were thrilled over 
the announcement that the General had been appointed the 
first military governor of the Philippines. Heavy criticism had 
been brewing throughout the United States over the failure to 
end the bitter Philippine struggle for independence, and the 
McKinley administration in Washington was deeply worried. 
It was thought that the appointment of the popular general 
would go far to quiet suspicion at home. 

A few months after the MacArthur appointment the Second 
Philippine Commission under the chairmanship of Judge Wil 
liam Howard Taft arrived in Manila. Obviously Taft had been 
sent out by the McKinley Republican administration to push 
rapidly toward civil government and conciliation at any cost; 
General MacArthur, however, believed that with the revolt still 
active and dangerous the time was not ripe for any sentimental 
experiments in self-rule, no matter how much the Adminis 
tration back home wanted the fighting to stop. 

He had already taken a number of broad and liberal steps 


toward the advancement of the Filipinos to ultimate citizen 
ship and self-government. He had instituted the fundamental 
right of habeas corpus. He had assigned army officers to build 
roads, hospitals and schools, and some of his people were acting 
as school teachers. He was a just and humane man. But his be 
lief that more time was needed before the power of the govern 
ing military should be reduced was in direct opposition to the 
theories and political necessities of Judge Taft. 

Shortly after the Treaty of Paris had legally transferred the 
Philippines to the United States, President McKinley found to 
his surprise that a first-class rebellion was included in the pur 
chase price of $15,000,000. When the subsequent violent out 
break came, the President and his advisors figured that it could 
be put down in six months with 30,000 men. But this became 
a year and 65,000 men, and the guerilla fighting was harsh and 
continued. And now into the alarming situation was injected 
the genial Taft, with orders from Washington that for political 
reasons he must get the little war off the front pages at the 
earliest possible moment. 

It was decided that on July 4, 1901, General MacArthur 
would turn over complete authority to the new civil govern 
ment, to be headed by Judge Taft. Shortly before this date an 
incident occurred which played directly into Taft s hands 
and fortunately helped to end the bitter, costly struggle. It still 
constitutes one of the most fabulous chapters in the whole his 
tory of the United States Army the capture of the insurgent 
leader, General Aguinaldo, by Brigadier General Funston, 
U. S, Volunteers, and a group of four U. S. Army officers, with 
a company of loyal Macabebe Scouts. The Scouts were posing 
as insurrectos bringing the captured American officers to Agui- 
naldo s headquarters, deep in the inaccessible mountains of Isa- 
bela Province. At the moment that the Macabebes were being 
received they overpowered the little Filipino garrison guarding 
Aguinaldo. MacArthur had had an active part in planning and 
authorizing the bold enterprise, and when it had been success 
fully concluded by seizing the Filipino leader, he saw to it that 
the volunteer officer, Fred Funston, was promoted to be a 
brigadier general in the Regular Army. 

Later Funston was to name his only son after his benefactor. 

Eventually he was to incorporate his experiences in both the 
Cuban and Philippine insurrections into a fascinating book, 
Memories of Two Wars. Its dedication bore the words: 

To the Memory of 


the little boy who in happy days gone by 

often sat on my knees and, open-eyed and 

wondering, listened to the story of the 

cruise of the Dauntless and to accounts of 

midnight rides in the Philippines; but who 

now sleeps forever in the national cemetery 

of the Presidio of San Francisco, under the 

shadow of the flag his childish heart so loved. 

At dawn one morning the captured Aguinaldo was trans 
ferred from the little American gunboat Vicksburg to a launch 
and taken to General MacArthur s quarters at Malacanan Pal 
ace on the Pasig river in Manila. He was received with extreme 
kindness and generosity. So touched was the Filipino leader 
that he soon voluntarily issued a proclamation advising the Fil 
ipinos to give up their struggle and accept the sovereignty of 
the United States. The U. S. General s handling of the entire 
delicate situation was to give to the name MacArthur a special 
place in the hearts of millions of Filipinos. 

One incident shortly after Aguinaldo s proclamation advising 
his followers to lay down their arms was to have an odd bear 
ing on affairs that occurred many years later. Hiding in the 
hills of Bataan, along with a few hundred ragged, sick and 
hungry insurrectos under General Mascardo, was a ig-year-old 
major of the Philippine Army named Manuel Quez6n. Racked 
by fever and almost totally incapacitated, he gave himself up to 
an American lieutenant stationed in the little port of Mariveles 
on Bataan, who arranged for him to cross the Bay to Manila. 

Soon he was shown into the office of the military governor 
and through the interpreter, Fred Fisher, he explained to Gen 
eral MacArthur that he had been ordered to find out if Agui 
naldo had really surrendered. General MacArthur quietly 
waved him to a room across the hall, and Quez6n entered to 
find himself alone with his hero, General Aguinaldo. 

The meeting not only with his beloved chieftain but with 


the kindly General MacArthur had a profound effect on young 
Major Quezdn. Many years later it was to reflect directly on his 
relation with General Douglas MacArthur and in his intense 
and unswerving loyalty to the United States government. 

During that summer of 1901 Douglas spent his first and only 
West Point furlough with his mother in Milwaukee. There his 
father hurriedly joined them after his arrival in San Francisco. 
Three years had passed since the family had been together. 

Douglas stood No. i in scholarship at the end of his yearling 
year and again was appointed the ranking cadet of his class 
senior first sergeant of A Company. 

As a proud junior or second classman, he could also wear the 
big A that he had won in baseball. The class of 1901 had grad 
uated in February, and Stephen Abbot, of the class of 1902, 
was chosen captain of the ball team. Abbot was re-elected cap 
tain the following year, and Douglas played on both his teams. 

"He was a heady ballplayer, and we used him as a fielder/ 
Abbot declared a half century later. "He was far from bril 
liant, but somehow he could manage to get on first. He d outfox 
the pitcher, draw a base on balls or get a single or outrun a 
bunt and there he d be on first." 

In 1902 Douglas was granted a special leave, and in his 
full-dress uniform with his shining gold chevrons of first cap 
tain, he stood as best man for his older brother, Arthur, Jr. 
The wedding took place at Newport News, Virginia, and it was 
the first time in several years that the four MacArthurs had 
been together. The bride of the young naval officer was Mary 
McCulla, daughter of a famous admiral who had served in Phil 
ippine waters the time General Arthur MacArthur had been 
there. She was to prove a valiant and devoted champion of the 
army family, and she and Douglas were to survive them all. 
During periods totalling ten years, Mrs. MacArthur lived 
with her, and no daughter could have been kindlier or more 
loyal than this gentle navy girl. 

Even in this period, while Douglas was still in West Point, it 
was evident that he greatly resembled his mother not only in 

looks but in temperament. He shared with her a rare quality 
that can only be described as intuition. Arthur, Jr., on the 
other hand, was far more like his father. He had his father s 
careful and methodical mind, and he reached his conclusions 
by cautious analysis and study. 

Douglas, however, seemed to have so trained and organized 
his mental processes that in approaching a problem he could 
leap across space and arrive at a conclusion that was often un 
canny in its accuracy. He could then leisurely marshal his facts 
and justify his conclusion in reverse. His swift and flashing 
decisions were apparently the composite result of a logical 
mind, an uncanny sense of psychological awareness and 
an equally important code of moral values. These qualities 
were his in part from a fine inheritance of body and mind and 
from his long training by his parents in correct values of moral 
integrity. To these he added the practice of rigid self-disci 

Many years later a senior officer, Lt. General Robert C. Rich 
ardson, who had served three years with him as a fellow cadet, 
described in a few words the MacArthur of West Point days: 
"He had style. There was never another cadet quite like him." 

A half-century after their graduation, MacArthur s yearling 
roommate, Colonel George Cocheu, was asked what sort of a 
person Douglas was as a cadet. "Think of the sort of man he is 
today/ he replied, "and you have exactly the picture of what 
he was when he graduated in 1903." 

During a part of his second year his eyes bothered him, and 
while he was in the hospital his name was included in a list of 
"goats 1 who must take a special examination in mathematics. 
Indignantly he put on his dress uniform and announced to his 
roommate that unless his name was removed from the obnox 
ious list he would immediately resign. He would go directly to 
the home of the professor who was head of the department, 
even though his house was out of bounds for cadets and the 
act might lose him his chevrons as senior captain. 

"Think what your father would say if you resigned so soon be 
fore graduation," his roommate George Cocheu argued. 

"My father will agree that I did the right thing/ Douglas 



The professor personally admitted him. Douglas saluted and 
then briefly said that his instructor had no right to put his 
name on the goat" list, and that if it were not withdrawn before 
classes opened the next morning, he would submit his resigna 
tion from West Point. He pointed out that his standing was so 
high that he could be marked as failing completely in the 
weekly test without his rating for the year being affected. The 
professor answered that he was not acquainted with the case, 
but he would look into it. 

Before classes were called that next morning, a messenger 
came with the report that Mac Arthur s name had been 
removed from the "goat" sheet. It might seem a trifling matter, 
but to young MacArthur it was of the essence of personal honor. 
He had worked hard for almost four years to keep his superior 
scholastic record absolutely clean, and rather than have it un 
justly marred by a mark of failure at the end, he was pre 
pared to resign. 

The previous June, when the graduation exercises of the class 
of 1902 were over, the list of new cadet appointments was 
read off. There was not the slightest surprise when Douglas 
MacArthur s name was called out as first captain. It was the 
supreme military honor that West Point could give him. 

It had come to Robert E. Lee, far back in 1828: he stood 
second in scholarship in the little class of 36 that graduated in 
1829. Fifty-six years later a tall, square-shouldered cadet from 
Missouri named John J. Pershing heard his name called out as 
first captain for the coming year of 1885: his scholarship stand 
ing was 29 in a class of 76. Three years after the high honor 
touched Douglas MacArthur, a slender cadet named Jonathan 
Wainwright was singled out to lead the Corps: he stood 24 in 
a class of 77. Both Pershing and Wainwright were to play im 
portant parts in MacArthur s future. 

He had had no serious competitor in the military side, but 
in the final scholastic listing for his third year he lost his lead 
to Cadets Fiske and Leeds; he stood third, with his rival U. S. 
Grant III two slots below. That fall, as a first classman, he took 
time out to manage the football team, but when spring came 
he did not go out for baseball. He had satisfied his need to 

win his A, and the fight to recapture first place in scholarship 
called for his best efforts. 

He had never been the slightest degree interested in being 
rated the most popular cadet, but he was easily the outstand 
ing one. Only a few times in its more than 150 years of his 
tory, has the first captain stood No. i in scholarship. Douglas 
was to have this honor and the additional one of having made 
the highest marks registered in a quarter-century. At times 
this period of reckoning has been stretched by MacArthur en 
thusiasts to cover a century, but the Academy s curriculum has 
several times been changed so that accurate comparisons in 
grades and standing are impossible. 

At the graduation exercises his father and mother were 
asked to sit on the platform with other notables, but they chose 
to sit to the rear of the graduating class among other parents 
and relatives. 

When the address was ended, First Captain MacArthur led 
the line of 93 graduates from their seats in the front rows. 
After he saluted and accepted his diploma, there was an out 
burst of applause. He turned quickly from the rostrum and in 
stead of returning to his seat he walked straight on to the rear. 
He handed the diploma to his father and smiled down at his 

A life-time later he was to put into words what West Point 
meant to him: . 


15 March 1947 

Nearly 48 years have gone since I joined the long grey line. 
As an Army "brat" it was the fulfillment of all my boyish dreams. 
The world has turned over many times since that day and the 
dreams have long vanished with the passing years, but through 
the grim murk of it all, the pride and thrill of being a West 
Pointer has never dimmed. And as I near the end of the road 
what I felt when I was sworn in on The Plain so long ago I can 
still say "that is my greatest honor/ 





There was never the slightest doubt in Douglas* mind but that 
he would choose the Engineers. 

In those days the ten top-ranking Academy graduates had 
the privilege of picking the branch of the service they desired 
to enter, and almost automatically they chose the Corps of En 
gineers, where promotion was swifter and where there were 
many special considerations. The corps elite at this time con 
sisted of 153 officers, with a brigadier general in command and 
six full colonels occupying the senior posts. 

Besides choosing the Engineers it was almost inevitable that 
Douglas asked for assignment in the Philippines. Here his fa 
ther had won his great fame, and it was the only spot where 
there was a chance of taking part in active fighting. There was 
bitter guerilla warfare in many parts of the Islands, and in 
Mindanao and Jolo the Moros were stubbornly contesting the 
American occupation. If a young officer was lucky, he might 
still see some real action. 

On September ssi, 1903, Douglas joined the 3rd Battalion 
of Engineers at San Francisco. Ten days later he sailed on the 
transport Sherman for Manila. With him were several of his 
classmates, including Second Lieutenant U. S. Grant III and a 
detachment of engineer troops. His first detail was with Com 
pany M of that outfit, quartered in the Luneta barracks in 

During the year he spent in the Islands he saw engineer 
duty on Leyte, Samar, Panay and Cebu and headed a surveying 
crew that ran its traverses in the steaming wooded hills around 

the port of Mariveles on Bataan peninsula in Luzon. In May 
1904 he was ordered before a promotion board in Manila. 
His general average of 88.1 more than qualified him, and he 
was promoted to first lieutenant. Five months later he boarded 
the transport Thomas for San Francisco. 

It had been a busy and profitable year for him. The lure of 
the Islands had entered his blood, and he had caught the vision 
of his father and the little group of able and far-sighted men 
both in the army and in the new civil government who had de 
termined to build here in the Western Pacific a sturdy out 
post of American influence. It would be a living example of 
how a rich country of good will could help turn a backward 
and impoverished land into a fine and progressive nation that 
some day might attain complete independence. 

Since Douglas was a boy of 14 in San Antonio his father had 
been making clear to him the vast, unfolding picture of the 
changing East. He had watched Japan in 1894 start her first 
war against decadent China and win (1895) the strategic island 
of Formosa. As a cadet at West Point he pondered the signifi 
cance of Secretary of State John Hay s Open Door policy of 
September 6, 1899, and his subsequent prediction, "As goes 
China, so goes the world/ And he had read and digested the 
speech of Senator Albert J. Beveridge on January 9, 1900, that 
had enunciated the principle, "The power that rules the Pa 
cific ... is the power that rules the world." 

In February 1904 when Admiral Togo surprised the Rus 
sian fleet outside the harbor of Port Arthur, MacArthur had 
tried without success to wangle his way to the fighting along 
the Yalu river that eventually developed into the great siege of 
Port Arthur. 

Within three months after he had arrived in San Francisco 
and was assigned to the Golden Gate harbor defenses, his fa 
ther was ordered to Tokyo as military attach^ to the Ameri 
can Legation, and chief military observer with the Japanese 
Army in Manchuria. Douglas would have given an arm to go 

Actually his father missed all but the shouting, for the Japa 
nese entered Mukden on March 10. But he made the most oi 
his opportunity to correlate the work of the several American 


observers present. One of them was a rugged 42-year-old cap 
tain of cavalry, John J. Pershing; and another officer was a 
wiry, slender field artilleryman, Captain Peyton C. March, 
who had been MacArthur s aide in Luzon in the summer of 

General MacArthur s reports were not limited to the narrow 
scope of battle tactics or even strategy. He saw the vast changes 
that were taking place in the Far East, with Manchuria and Ko 
rea as the immediate prizes and all China and the Western Pa 
cific as the ultimate goals of Japanese conquest. He was fully 
aware that the victory of Japan did not mean the final elim 
ination of Russia in the contest for the mastery of China. 

His reports were read and pondered in various offices 
in Washington, and President Theodore Roosevelt wanted 
more and more of such penetrating analyses. So it was that the 
elder MacArthur received a unique assignment: to make a 
complete study of all the colonial lands of the Far East. His 
reply to the singular orders was as follows (the "Second Divi 
sion" in later years became G-s> Intelligence Section): 

Yokohama, Japan 
October 27, 1905 
Chief Second Division^ 
War Department. 

Sir: In executing the order of the War Department, in respect 
to certain instructional journeys to Asia, my present purpose is 
to leave Yokohama about October 30, directly for India, stopping 
briefly at Hong Kong, Singapore, Rangoon, and reaching Cal 
cutta early in December. 

In India my itinerary will be North West Frontier at Peshawar 
and Quetta, and thence, via Bombay, Hyderabad, Bangalore and 
Madras to Colombo thence returning north by way of Java, 
Siam and Indo China. I hope to be in Shanghai about April i, 
and thereafter remain in China six weeks or two months . . . 

Before writing this letter, a personal appeal from the Gen 
eral to an old War Department friend in Washington had 
worked the magic trick, and the ^-year-old Douglas, then 
serving in San Francisco, was lifted high into the blue by a 
telegram that read: 



OCT. 3, 1905 




Douglas sailed on October 10, exactly two days before the 
formal signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth, which President 
Theodore Roosevelt had induced the Russian delegates to ac 
cept. To the President and his advisors the Island Kingdom 
apparently offered less immediate menace than the awakening 
Empire of Russia. 

Some dream of ultimate Russian expansion and conquest had 
long aroused the concern of British statesmen and pointed 
them toward a pro- Japanese policy that in turn was sold to 
Washington. There was no underestimating the possible men 
ace of Russia in the inner circle of imaginative men around 
Theodore Roosevelt. If Russia s march into the heart and 
fringes of the Asiatic continent could be stopped by Japan in 
Manchuria, then it would be well worth the shady trick of 
turning Korea over to Japan as her pay. Japan could block 
Russia, but it hardly seemed plausible in 1905 that Japan 
would ever stand squarely against the growing power of 

Major General Arthur Mac Arthur was one of the few army 
officers with the breadth of background and mind capable of 
an adequate first-hand survey of the vast and complicated Ori 
ent. He possessed the necessary equipment to make a careful 
report on its billion restless people, already beginning to 
dream of throwing off the domination of European powers. He 
had helped the Filipinos take their first faltering steps toward 
independence. He had been in close contact with the Japanese 
military leaders, and he had caught the true temper of the 


underlying struggles for Korea and Manchuria and China. He 
knew that Russia, so recently driven back across the Amur river 
into Siberia, would again enter the rich plains of Manchuria, 
and that in the possibly not-too-distant future the battle for 
global supremacy might well be fought in this Far Eastern 

The nine months used in the great tour, which swung from 
Tokyo to the Khyber Pass in the Himalayas and then back 
in an arc that touched Java and southeast Asia, was without 
question the most important single factor of preparation in 
Douglas MacArthur s entire life. Never was Europe or the At 
lantic to hold in his eyes the true historic significance or the 
sense of destiny that these lands of the Western Pacific and the 
Indian Ocean now assumed. The things he saw and learned, 
the deep impressions he gained, were to become a part of him, 
to color and engage all the days of his life. 

Thus at 26 he saw clearly and became thoroughly convinced 
that the very existence and future of America were irrevocably 
tied up with Asia and its island outposts. 

He was not to return to the Western Pacific for 16 years. 
But never would he escape from the hold that the world of the 
Far East had fastened upon him. 

Back in San Francisco in August 1906, he helped his father 
with his final reports and then hurried on to Washington and 
the Engineer School at Fort Belvoir. During that winter season 
he served as a special White House aide to President Theodore 
Roosevelt at official functions. But events that were shaping up 
around his father deeply disturbed him. 

Before Arthur MacArthur had returned from the Far East he 
had been made a lieutenant general the twelfth in the entire 
history of the Army with the provision that the rank was to be 
abolished with his own retirement. He was well aware that this 
high honor had been given him in place of the post of Chief of 
Staff. This coveted promotion had fallen to James Franklin 
Bell, who was just under 50, and who had been one of MacAr 
thur s finest officers in the Luzon fighting. 

At the end of January 1907 a wire from the Adjutant Gen 
eral was sent to the old soldier, again in command at San 
Francisco, stating that the present large geographic army divi 
sions would soon be abolished, but that if he so desired, he 
might have the Department of the East, with headquarters on 
Governor s Island in New York harbor. 

The upshot of the matter was a most unusual letter that 
General MacArthur addressed to Secretary of War William 
Howard Taft. It read in part: 

Dear Mr. Secretary: 

I have been painfully conscious for some time that my present 
assignment is not compatible with the traditions of the Lieuten 
ant Generalcy. The further purpose to abolish Divisions, and 
thereby reduce me to command of a Department, emphasizes the 
incongruity. It, therefore, seems to me, the sooner the depressing 
condition is terminated, the better it will be for all the interests 
involved. This purpose can be accomplished in two ways, viz: 

1. By my retirement from active service. 

2. By my assignment to special duty, with station outside 
Washington, and not at the Headquarters of a geographical com 
mand. . . . 

I doubt, Mr. Secretary, if you fully realize the professional 
aspect of the decision which now confronts me. The office of 
Lieutenant General which I now hold, was originally intended 
to subserve only the highest purposes of military expediency. 
In consideration of past achievements and of the possibilities 
of usefulness in future emergencies, the place has perhaps, at 
times, been unduly magnified; but, on the other hand, it is now 
so much depressed that in effect it has become merely a title. 
By process of current events it has been mediatized, and divested 
of prestige, dignity and influence. 

I am reasonably concerned in respect of the partial restoration 
of the first two of the foregoing attributes; and as such a result 
can be accomplished without interfering in any way with the 
policy of the Department to have the army represented in Wash 
ington by a junior officer, I am decidedly of the opinion that such 
a readjustment of the professional status of the Lieutenant Gen 
eralcy would be of material advantage to the service. 

I would, therefore, be very much obliged if you will give the 
matter such consideration as may be possible, and would there- 


after advise me of your view in the premises as soon as con* 

In the meantime I remain, 

Very respectfully, 
Arthur MacArthur 

Mr. Taft replied promptly that he "would be glad to have a 
statement on the project which you offer to submit as a basis of 

Lt. General MacArthur immediately proposed that he be 
ordered to Milwaukee, where he would write his final report 
on his visit to Asia. Shortly afterward the delicate and some 
what humiliating matter was brought to a close by an order 
from J, Franklin Bell, Chief of Staff, directing his old mentor 
"to proceed to Milwaukee, Wise., there to perform such duties 
as may hereafter be assigned . , . by the War Department/ He 
would officially retire June 2, 1909. 

Douglas deeply felt the sense of frustration and futility that 
he knew was plaguing his father. The only possible contribu 
tion he could make was to request assignment to a station close 
by so that he could be near him. He was successful, and on 
August 10, 1907, he reported to the Engineering Office at Mil 
waukee under the command of Major W. V. Judson. He lived 
with his father and mother in the comfortable old three-story 
mansion on North Marshall Street that his father had rented 
when he had first been transferred there, 

For some reason, which evidently grew out of a definite 
grating of personalities, Douglas did not quite hit it off with 
Major Judson. It was natural for the older officer to be 
somewhat envious of the younger whose family stood so high 
in Milwaukee social circles and in the esteem of local citizens. 
The matter came to a head on an official inspection trip to 
Manitowoc in northern Wisconsin. When the two men regis 
tered at the hotel, the senior officer was assigned a small room, 
and Douglas was led to the best room in the hotel. 

Major Judson was aghast at the hotel clerk s affront to his 
rank and age. He upbraided Douglas and demanded how such 
a thing could have happened. The young officer explained that 
possibly the name MacArthur carried some special weight in 

this part of the world. There was heat attached to the discus 
sion, and it appears that Douglas made little effort to soothe 
the ruffled feathers of the major. 

The upshot of the episode was that Douglas shortly asked to 
be relieved, and he subsequently was sent to duty at Fort Leav- 
enworth. Major Judson is said to have dropped a note 
containing derogatory remarks about MacArthur to the officer 
commanding the grd Battalion of Engineers there, with the 
result that Lieutenant MacArthur was assigned to the worst 
company in the battalion. But within three months he had 
whipped the company into an outstanding outfit, and had won 
the confidence of the commanding officer of the battalion. 

In Major Judson s efficiency report, put in after MacArthur 
had left Milwaukee, he sharply criticized him for "lacking in 
zeal to learn/ When this was brought to MacArthur s atten 
tion, he promptly protested and demanded of the commanding 
general of the Corps of Engineers a complete appraisal of the 
case, and that a report on his zeal and devotion to duty be 
made by each of the half-dozen officers under whom he had 
served. Most favorable reports quickly followed, and Major 
Judson s criticism was soon forgotten. 

This was the first time that Douglas MacArthur experienced 
the envy and jealousy of older men, but it was to be far from 
the last. 

In many ways the assignment to Leavenworth was choice. An 
ambitious young officer, even if he did not actually attend the 
classes, was in an atmosphere of serious military study. If he 
chose, he could largely follow the regular courses and lectures 
both in the Infantry and Cavalry schools and in the Staff Col 

First Lieutenant George C. Marshall had become an honor 
graduate of the School of the Line in June 1907, and the fol 
lowing year he had been one of the top graduates of the Staff 
College there. He had been retained as an instructor in the 
junior school and had been assigned to teach a special course in 


the Department of Engineering. Marshall, almost a year 
younger than MacArthur, had been sent to the Islands as his 
first duty after he graduated from the Virginia Military Insti 
tute in 1902, and there he had immediately caught the eye 
of Major General J. Franklin Bell, at the time commanding 
general of the Department of the Philippines. Bell had ma 
neuvered the unusual appointment of Marshall to the Infantry 
and Cavalry schools, where, although he was by far the junior 
member of the class of 1907, he finished as an honor graduate. 

Marshall was ambitious, quick-witted and self-assertive, 
and he definitely believed in his own future. He had no par 
ticular gift for friendship, and his relation with Douglas Mac- 
Arthur during the two years they served together in Fort Leav- 
enworth was formal and without warmth. 

Several unattached young officers of the Corps of Engineers 
at Leavenworth at this time secured an apartment in one of 
the houses that had been built as double quarters and set up 
an engineer mess that was called The Rookery. Douglas lived 
in a small two-room suite on the second floor, and saw to it that 
the youngest lieutenant present served as mess officer. Alto 
gether it was a pleasant and gay little club, with always a young 
bachelor or two from either the cavalry or infantry invited in 
as a member. 

During the years Douglas spent at Leavenworth, dating from 
the time he was 28 until he was 32, he appeared as the beau 
ideal of a young soldier thirsting for action. Most of his evenings 
were spent in quiet study, but on week ends there were parties 
on the post, in the city of Leavenworth and in nearby Kansas 
City. He drank very little, but now and again he sat in at a 
poker game that was fitted for the pocketbooks of young lieu 
tenants. More than 40 years later officers would remember him 
at the end of a pleasant stag dinner singing his favorite song, 
"Old soldiers never die they just fade away." 

During the last two years of his tour of duty an outstanding 
young engineer officer, John C. H. Lee, occupied the room ad 
joining MacArthur s quarters, and his intimate association with 
Douglas left many indelible impressions on the younger man. 
Years later when he had won great honor as head of Services of 
Supply in the European theatre during World War II and had 

three stars on his shoulders, General Lee would spin yarns of 
the pranks of old Leavenworth days. 

One had to do with the officers ball team on which Douglas 
played and which he helped manage, and with the annual visit 
of the ball club of the Kansas City Country Club. At the first of 
the series of games on the post, the Leavenworth strategy was to 
entertain the visitors so lavishly with food and drink at the 
luncheon before the game that they were easily outplayed and 
roundly beaten. 

The following year the Kansas City contingent ate and 
drank heartily, but secretly held back from the feast some of 
their best players. This time they overwhelmed the Army 
team. The score in the series was now i and i. 

At the luncheon preceding the third annual game, MacAr- 
thur humorously introduced two presentable young men as 
recent graduates who had been stars on the West Point team. 
It was observed that the pair of young officers had little to say, 
and the game had become a whopping victory for the Army 
before it was discovered that the alleged young West Pointers 
were a pair of Texas bush ringers imported at the cost of a 
$20 bill when $20 was considerable money. 

Douglas kept a riding horse and tried his hand on the En 
gineers polo team, which could hardly compete with the ar 
dent cavalry players. He was particularly competent in his lec 
tures delivered in the latter part of his tour of duty. His real 
interest inevitably lay within his own profession. 

At dinner one evening in the Rookery mess one of the new 
instructors was bewailing the custom of the question-and- 
answer period that followed each school lecture. 

"I ll tell you how I handle it," Douglas piped up. "At the 
end of my first lecture in a new course I announce that now is 
the time for the question period. Then I explain that my sol 
dier father used to say that when he was at Leavenworth there 
were three kinds of students who ask questions. The first group 
comprise the lazy students who want the instructor to do their 
work for them. The second group consist of the fawning stu 
dents who seek to gain the instructor s favor by flattering him. 
The third group are the so-and-sos who wished to embarrass 
the instructor. Then I add quickly, Are there any questions? " 


Douglas had been at Leavenworth two years when he re 
ported to a promotion board at the Army Building in New 
York and on February 27, 1911, was made captain of engi 
neers. He was now adjutant of the grd Battalion, and in addi 
tion he served as quartermaster and commissary officer, engi 
neer officer, and disbursing officer and was in charge of the 
engineer depot at Leavenworth. As a sort of extra duty in No 
vember 1910 he had been assigned as "member of a Board of 
Officers to report on certain changes in the pontoon equipage/ 
The last two years of his service at Leavenworth were filled 
with odd details that added up to his education as a thoroughly 
competent combat engineer officer. For one thing, he spent 
several weeks on an official visit to the Panama Canal Zone, 
busying himself in the study of that vast engineering project. 
There was much social activity around the Panamanian cap 
ital city, and a legend persists that he left the heart of at least 
one of the young ladies he had been squiring in a very shat 
tered condition. He was to remember in particular many eve 
nings he spent at the home of Captain Robert E. Wood of 
the West Point class of 1900, later head of Sears, Roebuck & 
Co. They had known each other at West Point and were to be 
firm friends for the rest of their lives. 

From March 7 to July 15, 1911, Captain MacArthur served 
with the Manoeuvre Division that had been activated in San 
Antonio as a result of tense Mexican-American relations along 
the border. The next year he was made a regular instructor 
in the Department of Engineering at the Fort Leavenworth 
Service Schools. It was a step up, but he had had more than 
enough of the wind-swept plains of the Kansas post. He had 
tried shortly after his arrival for an assignment as an instructor 
in the Engineering Department at West Point, but for some 
reason he had been blocked by the superintendent, Colonel 
Hugh Lenox Scott. To add now to his general discontent, he 
was deeply concerned over the declining health of both his 
father and mother. 

Early in the morning of September 6, 1912, an orderly from 
the Officer of the Day s office knocked at the door of his quar- 

old Civil War regiment. 

As Douglas made his hurried preparations to join his mother 
in Milwaukee, he recalled a remark his father had made: "I 
have received every honor my country could give me, save that 
of dying at the head of her troops/ 

He was met at the depot in Milwaukee by Brigadier General 
Charles King, a devoted family friend and old comrade-in 
arms of General Arthur MacArthur and a military historian 
and novelist. That same morning King had written out an offi 
cial report of the General s death and dispatched it to the Ad 
jutant General in Washington. It read in part: 

At ten o clock on the evening of Thursday, Sept. 5, while 
addressing at a banquet the survivors of the 24th Wisconsin, his 
old regiment from 62 to 65, Lieut. General MacArthur sud 
denly expired. 

For over a year the General had suffered from hyper-acidity 
of the stomach. Of late his condition had aroused the anxiety 
of Mrs. MacArthur and of their neighbor, myself. The day had 
been the hottest of the season; the General had taken little nour 
ishment for three days previously, and, fearing the result, Mrs. 
MacArthur begged him not to go, but aided him to dress when 
she found he could not be dissuaded. She was, therefore, meas 
urably prepared for the announcement over the telephone that 
the General had been taken seriously ill, and came bravely for 
ward to meet me when a few minutes later it became my duty to 
break the news. She herself asked at once, "Is he dead?" and was 
answered simply in the affirmative. For an instant she bowed her 
head; then quietly walked to her room with the family physician; 
was presently joined there by my wife, and the pastor of the 
Emmanuel Church. With her own hand she wrote the dispatches 
to her sons, and the newspaper story of her screaming and swoon 
ing is absolutely untrue. 

On my return from the telegraph office I received a message 
from Mrs. MacArthur asking me to take charge of preparation 
for the funeral and asking me to call at ten in the morning. 


It was then that Mrs. MacArthur told me, as I already had 
heard from her own lips, that the General desired not to be 
buried in his uniform, and added that he had explicitly told 
her he wished his funeral to be as simple as it could be made 
and utterly devoid of military display. . . . 

Only two additional items needed to be added, and they 
were included in the subsequent report by General King: 
apoplexy was assigned as the official cause of his death; and 
the flag of his country was placed upon his casket and buried 
with him. 

Forty years later a lone figure still lived in Milwaukee who 
had witnessed the dramatic scene of the General s passing. He 
was Colonel Horace Martin Seaman, who had been colonel of 
the 4th Wisconsin Regiment during the Spanish War. On this 
tragic evening in 1912 he had been invited to sit at the speak 
ers table as a representative of the Wisconsin National Guard. 

Colonel Seaman distinctly recalled how the ninety veterans 
had sung their campaign songs and greeted their comrades. Fi 
nally the dinner was over, the invocation pronounced and the 
speeches started. Then it came the turn of the old soldier who 
as a slender youth of 19 had commanded the regiment through 
its last year and a half of battle. 

"Comrades," the General began slowly, "I am here against 
the advice of my physician, but I could not stay away on this 
great anniversary of our starting to the war. Little did we 
think a half century ago that so many of us would be permitted 
to gather in this way/* 

He seemed to falter and his face lost its color. 

"Comrades/" he gasped, "I cannot proceed I / 

He crumpled up on the table in front of him, and the old 
men who as youths had followed him up Mission Ridge and 
into the fire on a dozen battlefields tenderly watched over 

The regimental surgeon, Dr. William J. Cronyn, who had 
bound up their wounds in the long ago, hurried forward and 
examined the General. 

"Comrades, the General is dying/ he said simply. 

Someone in the middle of the room began to repeat the 
Lord s prayer, and the others followed. 

Captain Parsons took down the flag that hung behind the 
speaker s stand and laid it over the body of the General. Then 
the captain himself faltered and Colonel Seaman held him up. 
His lips were white and he had difficulty whispering to the 
younger man: "I I can t move. I I ve had a stroke." 

Two weeks later Captain Parsons, too, was dead. 

The eldest son, Lt. Commander Arthur MacArthur, had sped 
to Milwaukee for the funeral and remained with his mother as 
long as his leave would permit. Before he returned to his navy 
duty, Douglas assured him that, for the time being at least, 
he would somehow find a way to be with their mother and to 
look after her. 

But it proved far more easily said than done. He immedi 
ately asked for reassignment, but he was blocked by a red-tape 
rule that an officer of the Engineer Corps attached to an army 
service school was removed from the jurisdiction of his branch. 
Any change in station had to originate with the local officer in 
command. In the end the distraught son took his pride in his 
hand and wrote straight to the Director of the Army Field En 
gineering School at Leavenworth. 

His letter asking for immediate transfer because of the seri 
ous illness of his mother was so compelling that the command 
ing officer of the school wrote Washington that, while he 
was loath to lose the services of Captain MacArthur, he would 
recommend that the request be granted. 

Back down the long list of official stations the document gath 
ered its additional endorsements. On November 4 the eighth 
and final endorsement was signed by the acting chief of engi 
neers, in Washington, D. C. Captain MacArthur was duly 
relieved from duty at Fort Leavenworth and assigned to Wash 

A few days later he started with his mother on the 
exhausting train trip to that city. For the moment he was pri 
marily absorbed with the grim task of helping his mother to 


Captain MacArthur had been in the capital exactly a month 
when he was assigned to temporary duty with the General 
Staff. This top group consisted at this time of 38 officers, 10 of 
whom were ordinarily on leave or on detached duty. It was the 
brains of the Army, when it came to planning wars or deciding 
matters of highest importance. Its exact duties were still a bit 
nebulous, for the old branches comprising the several services 
such as Infantry, Cavalry, and Artillery still functioned sepa 
rately, each branch zealously guarding its own prerogatives. 

The g^-year-old MacArthur immediately caught the eye of 
Major General Leonard Wood, who in 1910 had succeeded J. 
Franklin Bell as Chief of Staff, MacArthur proved at once that 
he was alert, of broad military background and knowledge and 
not afraid to present his own ideas. During his years at Leav- 
enworth he had assiduously followed the various classes in the 
School of the Line and the Staff College, and he had familiar 
ized himself with the textbooks and studies used in the several 
courses on tactics, strategy and staff organizations. It was almost 
as if he had been a continuing student officer at the schools. 
He had rubbed minds with the keenest of the instructors, and 
he was now fully prepared for larger duties. 

That first winter in Washington he and his mother kept 
house together in a modest apartment in the Hadleigh at i6th 
and U. She began slowly to improve and once again to take a 
keen interest in his advancing career. He spent as much time 
with her as he could, and save for rare occasions he remained 
at home evenings sternly working on various general staff prob 
lems and studies. There still remained many books in his fa 
ther s library for him to read. 

On May 3, 1913, he was relieved from duty with the General 

Staff and assigned to the superintendency of the State, War 
and Navy Building. This was a sort of routine station in 
the training of top junior officers in the Corps of Engineers. 
Four months later he received the unusual distinction of being 
assigned as a regular member of the General Staff. He was no 
longer merely on temporary duty with the General Staff." 

General Wood s method of operation was to hand out the 
various policy problems and subjects under discussion to small 
sections or to individuals and at subsequent meetings to re 
ceive the reports and then ask questions. He discovered that 
often Captain MacArthur did not agree with the older officers 
and that he had the courage to present his minority opin 
ion. Soon the Chief of Staff began to go over the heads of the 
older officers and accept the conclusions of this clear-thinking 

The result was inevitable. Before long Douglas found that 
while he had gained the approval of the exacting Chief of 
Staff, he had won the quiet envy and dislike of many mem- 
bers.of this group of senior officers. He was disturbed, but it was 
not in his nature to worry about such matters. 

By the turn of 1914 the problems involved in the Mexican 
revolution and particularly in the depredations by both rebel 
and federal Mexican soldiers had culminated in an insult to 
the American flag by Mexican officials at Tampico. As a result 
the port of Vera Cruz was unofficially blockaded by U. S. war 
ships, and the German steamer Esperanza was denied the right 
to land its cargo of war materials destined for the Mexican 

Major General Frederick Funston, commanding general of 
the Department of Texas, was ordered to Galveston to take 
field command of the elements of a U. S. provisional division 
concentrated there. On April 2 1 bluejackets and marines from 
the U. S. fleet landed in Vera Cruz. 

In Washington lights burned all night in the State, War 
and Navy Building. The Army General Staff sat late, consider 
ing the possibility of sending an expeditionary force into Mex 
ico. In such an event Major General Leonard Wood would 
command the field army. He was ordered to Governor s Island, 
where he assumed command of the Eastern Department and 


the duties of bringing up to full strength the ist U. S. Regular 

On April 22, 1914, the day before Wood left Washington, 
he conferred with Lindley M. Garrison, Secretary of War. It 
was decided that Captain MacArthur should immediately be 
sent to Vera Cruz to study the lay of the land and observe 
and report on all matters that might be useful to General 
Wood and the War Department. The selection of MacArthur 
for this assignment caused considerable resentment among the 
members of the General Staff, who were all senior to him. 
But Wood knew precisely what he wanted. Arrangements 
were made for MacArthur s transportation on the battleship 
Nebraska, sailing shortly from New York. 

Four days later, four transports loaded with troops under 
command of Major General Funston dropped anchor in Vera 
Cruz harbor, and the following morning docked and the troops 
began disembarking. The city was already in the hands of U. S. 
marines and bluejackets. 

The Nebraska arrived on May i and MacArthur asked per 
mission to go ashore in the first launch. He at once paid his 
respects to his father s old friend, General Funston, and pre 
sented his orders from the Chief of Staff. His official position 
was a little incongruous. Until definite telegraphic orders ar 
rived later, assigning him as assistant to the engineer officer 
of the force, he was an unattached and independent agent 
of the General Staff and the War Department, subject only 
to the general regulations covering the command. 

Funston had only recently received his own confidential or 
ders from the Secretary of War. It included the following: 

. . . The Secretary of War further directs that you strictly limit 
your action in taking over the control of Vera Cruz to the occu 
pation of the city and so much of its environs as you find in the 
possession of our forces, and that you under no circumstances 
extend those limits beyond these necessities and that you do not 
initiate any activities or bring about on your own initiative any 
situations which might tend to increase the tension of the situa- 

tion or embarrass your government in its present relation with 
Mexico, without implicit orders and directives from the Secretary 
in each case. Even should your judgment indicate that something 
other than what is now being done should be done you will be 
fore acting communicate fully with the Department and await 
instructions. . . . 

The order was written while MacArthur was on the high 
seas, and he knew nothing about it. Since its content was most 
confidential, General Funston in his friendly interview made 
no reference to it. 

Shortly after his arrival MacArthur contacted an old friend 
from Washington days, Captain Constant Gordier, an energetic 
infantry officer, who shortly put him in touch with a Mexican 
who had some valuable information for sale. The meeting led 
to an extraordinary and dangerous mission on the part of Cap 
tain MacArthur some four days after his arrival at Vera Cruz. 
Since he had no official status with the Expedition, he kept the 
priceless information he had obtained strictly to himself, save 
for Captain Cordier and one or two close friends. He was still 
acting as an independent agent of the General Staff and General 
Wood. Captain Cordier, who had given the original tip, now 
wrote out on his own authority a long letter to General Wood, 
still at Governor s Island and busy with the prospect of taking 
over the Expedition should hostilities open. Cordier s letter was 
the first mention of the affair, and it recited the main events of 
the undertaking. Its closing paragraphs read: 

I am taking the liberty of sending you this personal letter in 
order that a daring reconnaissance of Captain Douglas Mac- 
Arthur, General Staff Corps, may properly be brought to your 
attention. In my opinion, his splendid and hazardous undertak 
ing calls for the bestowal of a Medal of Honor. . . . 

... It was a test of supreme courage; and, in my opinion, it 
stands out boldly as the only distinguished exploit since the land 
ing of our Army on Mexican soil. If any deed of daring merits 
the Medal of Honor surely MacArthur s audacious undertaking 
is one. 

The passionate nature of Captain Cordier s appeal might 
have been due partly to his disgust at the bundle of recom 
mendations for the Medal of Honor that were being pre- 

sentcd almost haphazardly in behalf of sailors and marines 
after the limited fighting that took place in Vera Cruz on April 
22. A total of 47 navy personnel, including Rear Admiral 
Frank E. Fletcher, profited in the wholesale distribution of the 
country s highest award. The Marine Corps had to be satisfied 
with nine medals, one being given to Major Smedley D. Butler. 
Four months later, a full month after his return to Wash 
ington, Captain MacArthur was requested by General Wood 
to write out his own report of the occurrence. It was in the 
nature of an order and MacArthur somewhat reluctantly did 
so. His report is quoted in full: 

September 30 , 1914 

From: Capt. Douglas MacArthur, General Staff 
To: Major General Leonard Wood 
Subject: Detailed report of reconnaissance from 

Vera Cruz to Alvarado on the night of May 6, 1914. 

1. This report is supplementary to the general one made to you 
under date of May 9, 1914. It has not been rendered before as I 
did not realize the matter was under consideration. 

2. The general purpose of the reconnaissance was the location 
of locomotives suitable for road use on the narrow gauge line of 
the Inter-Oceanic Railroad. Due to the great shortage of animal 
transportation, the command at Vera Cruz was practically im 
mobile. Freight and passenger cars were in abundance, but no 
road motive power. Every effort was being made to remedy this 
state of affairs so that in case of field operations, which appeared 
imminent, the command would not be tied to Vera Cruz. 

3. Through the maudlin talk of a drunken Mexican, I re 
ceived an inkling that a number of engines were hidden some 
where on the line connecting Vera Cruz and Alvarado. This man 
was sobered up and found to be a railroad fireman and engineer 
on the Vera Cruz and Alvarado R. R. He consented after certain 
financial inducements had been offered, to assist me in accurately 
locating the engines. 

4. At this time I occupied at Vera Cruz a unique and rather 
difficult status. I had been ordered there before the Fifth Brigade 
left Galveston as one of the prospective Assistant Chiefs of Staff 
of the First Field Army. My orders were defined in a letter from 
the Secretary of War to the Secretary of the Navy under date of 
April 23, 1914, in the following words: 

"I am very desirous of sending down for purposes of observa- 

tion and reconnaissance a representative of the War Department. 
This officer is Captain Douglas MacArthur, of the General Staff, 
who, in case of any aggressive movement by the Army in regard 
to Mexico, will function as one of the General Staff officers of 
the Commanding General. In order to facilitate his observations 
and his passage to Vera Cruz, I would appreciate very much if 
the Admiral Commanding be requested to extend such privileges 
to him as may be possible and that the Battleship Nebraska 
which it is expected will touch at New York tomorrow be di 
rected to take him on board as a passenger." 

On arrival at Vera Cruz, the headquarters of the Fifth Brigade 
did not recognize me as an official member of their command, as 
I had no orders assigning me thereto. They took the attitude that 
I was an independent staff officer functioning directly under you. 
I was permitted to exercise my own judgment in regard to ful 
filling my general orders and instructions, subject to only such 
limitations as were prescribed by the Military Governor for all 
those domiciled in Vera Cruz. In undertaking this reconnaissance, 
therefore, I was thrown entirely on my own responsibility, as it 
was not feasible or safe to communicate the question to you for 
decision. The object of the trip not being aggressive, but merely 
for the purpose of obtaining information, my general instructions 
as given above seemed to cover the very contingency, and I ac 
cordingly made my plans. 

5. The Alvarado Railroad is a narrow gauge road connecting 
Vera Cruz and Alvarado, distant about 42 miles. The principal 
towns en route are Tejar, Medallin, Paso del Toro, Laguna, La 
Piedra, and Salinas. We held the line as far as Tejar, nine miles 
out. About four miles beyond Tejar, at Paso del Toro, the Al 
varado line is crossed by the broad gauge line connecting Vera 
Cruz and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. This latter line after 
leaving Vera Cruz passes through the town of Boca del Rio, where 
it crosses the Jamapa River, before reaching Paso del Toro. From 
Vera Cruz to Paso del Toro, therefore, these two railroad lines 
formed roughly the two halves of an ellipse. We did not hold the 
Isthmus line beyond the outskirts of Vera Cruz. 

6. Mexican troops in force were reported near Tejar and in 
order to avoid them I determined to proceed along the Isthmus 
line as far as Paso del Toro and then change to the Alvarado line. 
My general plan was to leave Vera Cruz alone on foot at dusk 
and to join my Mexican engineer who was to have a hand-car 
on the Alvarado line manned by two Mexicans. From there we 


were to push along the line until the engines were located and 
their condition ascertained. All three of the Mexicans were rail 
road men and their affiliations and experience enabled them to 
obtain the hand-cars and have them at their appointed places. 
For their services I agreed to give them $150.00 gold, payable only 
after my safe return to Vera Cruz. Captain Cordier of the 4th 
Infantry was the only person outside of these men who knew of 
the plan. 

7. The night was squally and overcast. At dusk I crossed our 
line unseen near the wireless stations, where a detachment of the 
yth Infantry was encamped. I was in military uniform with no 
attempt to disguise and with absolutely nothing on me in addi 
tion to my clothes except my identification tag and my automatic 
revolver with ammunition. I found my engineer with a broad 
gauge hand-car in the appointed place. I carefully searched him 
and after some demur on his part removed his weapons, a ,38- 
caliber revolver and a small dirk knife. As a further precaution 
against his possible treachery I had him search me so that he 
might better realize that there being nothing of value on me my 
death would afford him no monetary return. The essence of the 
transaction for him, therefore, became my safe return to Vera 
Cruz when he would receive his pay. 

8. We proceeded as far as Boca del Rio without incident, but 
at the Jamapa River found the railroad bridge down. I decided 
to leave the hand-car, concealing it as well as possible. After 
searching the bank of the river for a short distance, we discov 
ered a small native boat by means of which we paddled across, 
landing well above the town so as to escape observation. On land 
ing we located, after some search, two ponies near a small shack 
and mounted on them we followed the trail along the railway 
until near Paso del Toro. We then made a detour and hit the 
Alvarado line below the town. The two Mexican firemen were 
awaiting us with the hand-car. We secreted our ponies and after 
I had searched the two newcomers and found them unarmed we 
pushed on. Mile after mile was covered with no sign of the en 
gines. The line is studded with bridges and culverts and my crew 
protested violently at crossing them without investigating their 
condition. Time was so short, however, that I dared not stop for 
such steps, and had to take them in our stride. I was obliged to 
threaten my men to the point of covering them with a revolver 
at the first bridge, but after that I had no further trouble with 
them. In fact, after getting into the spirit of the thing their con- 


duct was most admirable. At every town we reached I took one 
man and left the car which was run through to the far side by 
the other two. I fastened myself by a lashing to the man acting 
as my guide so as to insure us against separation and together 
we made a circuit of the town, joining the car on the far side. 
This took time, but was the only way I could avoid detection. 

9. We reached Alvarado shortly after one o clock and there 
found five engines. Two of these were switch engines and worth 
less for our purpose. The other three were just what we needed 
fine big road pullers in excellent condition except for a few 
minor parts which were missing. I made a careful inspection of 
them and then started back. 

10. At Salinas, while moving around the town with one of my 
men as described above, we were halted by five armed men. They 
were on foot and wore no uniforms. They were not soldiers and 
were evidently one of the marauding bands that infest the coun 
try with brigandage as a trade. We started to run for it and they 
opened fire and followed us. We outdistanced all but two and 
in order to preserve our own lives I was obliged to fire upon them. 
Both went down. I was fearful lest the firing might have fright 
ened away my hand-car men, but after some search we found 
them awaiting us about a mile beyond the town. 

11. At Piedra, under somewhat similar circumstances and in a 
driving mist, we ran flush into about fifteen mounted men of the 
lame general type. We were among them before I realized it and 
were immediately the center of a melee. I was knocked down by 
the rush of horsemen and had three bullet holes through my 
clothes, but escaped unscathed. My man was shot in the shoulder, 
but not seriously injured. At least four of the enemy were brought 
down and the rest fled. After bandaging up my wounded man we 
proceeded north with all speed possible. 

12. Near Laguna we were again encountered and fired upon 
by three mounted men who kept up a running fight with the 
hand-car. I did not return this fire. All but one of these men were 
distanced, but this one man, unusually well mounted, overhauled 
and passed the car. He sent one bullet through my shirt and two 
others that hit the car within six inches of me, and I then felt 
obliged to bring him down. His horse fell across the front of the 
car and on the track and we were obliged to remove the carcass 
before proceeding. 

13. At Paso del Toro we abandoned the hand-car, found the 
two ponies where we had left them and made the best of our way 


back to Boca del Rio where we returned the animals from whence 
we had procured them* 

14. We found the boat where we had left it and started to 
cross the Jamapa River, but when near the shore the boat struck 
a snag in the darkness and sank. Fortunately the water at this 
point was something less than five feet deep, for in our exhausted 
physical condition I do not believe we would have been capable 
of swimming. As it was I was hard put to it to keep my wounded 
man s head above water. Day was breaking when we reached the 
bank, but so wearied were we that we were unable to move on 
for nearly half an hour. We then located our first hand-car and 
ran in close to Vera Cruz where we crossed the American lines 

15. None of the men we encountered were Mexican troops. All 
were guerillas undoubtedly bent on general mischief. Owing to 
the darkness I was not recognized as an American soldier and in 
consequence no alarm was ever felt for the engines. Months later 
when traffic was partially resumed I saw one of them running to 
Tejar from Alvarado. 

[Signed] Douglas Mac Arthur 

Captain, General Staff 

On December 3 General Wood forwarded his own formal 
report to the Adjutant General. He carefully explained that 
Captain MacArthur had been sent to Vera Cruz "with general 
instructions to obtain, through reconnaissance and other means 
consistent with the existing situation, all possible information 
which would be of value in connection with possible opera 

The closing paragraph of General Wood s report was defi 
nite and unmistakable: 

It will be noted that while Captain MacArthur in making this 
reconnaissance was carrying out the general instructions which 
had been given him to obtain all possible information, he volun 
tarily performed at the risk of his life a most gallant and haz 
ardous act, an act calling for more than could reasonably hav^ 
been expected in the way of risk of life. This service was per* 
formed before he was assigned to duty with the 5th Brigade, and 
before any official information had been received as to an armis- 

tice. In other words, the reconnaissance was made during the 
period of practical hostilities. Captain MacArthur displayed great 
gallantry and enterprise, and I believe that the services performed 
clearly entitles him to a Medal of Honor, and J recommend that 
one be awarded him. 

The first endorsement to the document was an order from 
the Adjutant General that it be sent to Major General Funston 
at Galveston, by order of the Secretary of War, "for remarks." 
The grizzled little fighter, with ill health already beginning to 
dog his steps, must have been slightly embarrassed to be forced 
to report on the activities of the son of the man whom he had 
looked up to as his military mentor. But he was as ruggedly 
honest as he was brave, and he bluntly stated his case: 

1. Until after the return of the expeditionary force from Vera 
Cruz, and the entire severance of my connection therewith, I had 
not the slightest information regarding the reconnaissance made 
by Captain MacArthur, and I have no knowledge except what 
is to be obtained from these papers. 

2. As the reconnaissance was made to the theory that Captain 
MacArthur was not a member of my command at the time, I am 
at a loss to know how I can properly make official recommenda 
tion on the subject. As a matter of personal opinion I should say 
that the risks voluntarily taken and the dangers encountered were 
of a most exceptional nature, and that the awarding of the Medal 
of Honor would be entirely appropriate and justifiable. 

3. I do not consider this the occasion to enter into a discus 
sion of the advisability of this enterprise having been undertaken 
without the knowledge of the commanding general on the ground, 
who from the first was acting under definite, confidential in 
struction from the Secretary of War, and who understood thor 
oughly that without specific instructions nothing was to be done 
that might lead to a resumption of hostilities. However, it must 
be presumed that Captain MacArthur was acting in good faith, 
and any error of judgment he may have made in undertaking the 
hazardous expedition should not, in my opinion, cause him to 
lose the appropriate reward. In the enclosed letter of Captain 
Cordier to General Wood are several errors of statement as to 
conditions at Vera Cruz and our activities there, but I do not 
believe it necessary to go into them, as having no direct bearing 
on the question under consideration. 


The papers and their endorsements were returned to the 
Chief of Staff, General Hugh L> Scott, who immediately ap 
pointed a board of three officers from the War College to report 
on the award. Four days after these orders had been issued, 
Captain William G. Ball aide-de-camp to General Funston, dis 
carded military procedure and wrote a note directly to the 
Chief of Staff, General Scott. It is important only in that it 
makes clear that through Ball, as representative of General 
Funston, Captain MacArthur had kept in touch with the com 
mand. And it proved that MacArthur s brother officers of his 
own rank who were on the scene and understood his exploit 
not only applauded his deed but were the ones who were de 
manding that appropriate reward be given him. One part of 
Ball s letter read: 

I learned of the reconnaissance immediately after its accom 
plishment, but made no mention of the matter; as it was impera 
tive that the information that had been obtained should be kept 
as secret as possible. This information became practically the 
basis of our future plans, and our first aggressive steps would have 
been to seize the engines that Captain MacArthur located, and 
thus make it possible to supply the column when it advanced. 
The practical importance of this information, if we had moved 
Into Mexico, cannot be overestimated. I am thoroughly familiar 
with all the conditions surrounding the reconnaissance, and un 
hesitatingly pronounce it one of the most dangerous and difficult 
feats in army annals. I was impressed then and I am now that 
this officer clearly earned a Medal of Honor, and so expressed 
myself at the time. I believe that a grave injustice will be done if 
such action is not taken. 

The board met on February 2, 1915, and one week later sub 
mitted its findings. 

The opinion praised MacArthur s zeal and initiative but 
questioned the propriety of undertaking the enterprise without 
the knowledge of the commanding general on the ground. It 
feared that to bestow a medal in this case might encourage 
other staff officers to similar indiscretions. Its final paragraph 
read: "It is recommended that the Medal of Honor be not 
awarded." Colonel Charles G, Treat of the General Staff, 

who had been Commandant of Cadets during MacArthur s last 
two years at the Academy, was senior member of the board. Lt. 
Colonel William H. Johnston concurred with his findings, but 
Major P. D. Lochridge, West Point 1887, submitted a minor 
ity report against granting the award, on the grounds that 
there was not sufficient proof and the qualification of "above 
and beyond the call of duty" was not fulfilled. 

Captain MacArthur was incensed. Three days after the 
board had announced its findings he wrote a straightforward 
memorandum to the Chief of Staff. It took inner fortitude for 
him to protest against the findings of his seniors, particularly 
as he was personally involved in a matter as delicate as a 
Medal of Honor for himself. But to him this was a moral is 
sue far beyond the matter of a medal or of his own dispar 
agement. He had been a captain for less than four years, yet 
he dared oppose the highest authority in what he felt involved 
the honor and justice of the Army. It was the first time he was 
openly to go against the rigid narrowmindedness and lack of 
imagination that prevailed in sections of the General Staff and 
in the high command at that time. 

General Scott directed that the Assistant Chief of Staff, Brig 
adier General Tasker H. Bliss, review the findings and express 
an opinion on the board s negative decision. On the back of the 
order disavowing the medal Bliss attached his signature with the 
single word "Approved." He stood by the board s findings. 

Beneath the line and under his signature General Scott 
wrote "Approval recommended." 

A third endorsement graced the page. It was marked "Ap 
proved; Henry Breckenridge, Asst. Secretary of War." 

The young captain had lost, but he had gone down fighting. 
To many in the army inner circles his protest seemed rash and 
impertinent; to others it was courageous and commendable. 

There was no question of the propriety of what he did in 
the mind of the elderly lady who presided over the pleasant 
apartment they shared together. 

He had lost this fight, and he would lose many more that 
were to come, but he must hold steadfast to his sense of duty, 
and to the high moral issue of right and wrong. 


He must dedicate himself to his country and his career. The 
two marched together. They were of the same piece, of the 
same identical pattern. 


The First World War had been going on for exactly four days 
when, on August 10, Captain MacArthur was ordered to return 
on the earliest available transportation from Vera Cruz to his 
duties in Washington. 

Lindley M. Garrison, the harassed Secretary of War, and his 
28 General Staff officers on actual duty in the capital had 
innumerable problems crowding down on them. The Staff con 
sisted of two groups the War Plans Division and the Mobile 
Army Division. MacArthur was assigned to the latter, whose 
function was the broad supervision of the Army in being, the 
realistic planning for additional forces and the eventual pro 
curement of new equipment and munitions. 

In the summer of 1915 General Wood, commanding general 
of the Eastern seaboard area, pushed through his first Platts- 
burg Officers Training Camp, and MacArthur immediately 
became its champion on the General Staff. In February of 19x6, 
with the national election still nine months off, Secretary of 
War Garrison and Assistant Secretary Breckenridge resigned as 
a protest against President Wilson s refusal to adopt a realistic 
approach to preparedness. Three weeks later the President an 
nounced the appointment of Newton D. Baker, former mayor 
of Cleveland, as the new Secretary. The appointment was in the 
nature of a political earthquake. 

It did not take MacArthur long to penetrate the quiet ex- 

terior of this soft-spoken, almost diffident lawyer, who was im 
mediately branded by the anti-administration press as a pacifist 
tool of President Wilson. The young officer soon realized that 
here was a clear, brilliant mind, with the fine ability to make 
instant and positive decisions. 

Even the fact that the Pancho Villa raid across the border 
into Columbus, New Mexico, came when he had been less 
than 24 hours in office, did not faze the new Secretary of War. 
He found in Generals Scott and Bliss, the Chief of Staff and 
the Deputy Chief, the exact type of cool and experienced ad 
visors he could trust. He took their advice about a punitive 
expedition into Mexico and their choice of Brigadier General 
John J. Pershing as its commander. 

But he needed at his finger-tips some keen, imaginative and 
highly intelligent younger man who could match his own swift 
and uninhibited mind and answer the innumerable questions 
of a purely military nature that were constantly cropping up. 
He found his man in Douglas MacArthur, now a major. 

It took Baker less than a month to grasp the need of pre 
paredness as an over-all national policy, and he quietly went 
about the difficult business of winning over the President. The 
next step was to build up a strong public opinion behind 
the whole idea. On June 30, 1916, he had MacArthur detailed 
as military aide to the Secretary of War, and placed in charge 
of the almost non-existent Bureau of Information of the War 
Department. A week later, with the additional title of press 
censor attached to his name, MacArthur was made liaison with 
the newspapermen who regularly covered the War Department. 

MacArthur did not make the national policy, but he did ex 
plain it to the country. He spent much time with the Secretary 
of War, and from him Mr. Baker learned many things that 
had to do with the imponderables of war and army service. He 
learned to respect and trust MacArthur, and he became a ready 
convert to the idea that the existing National Guard, with its 
recent experience on the Mexican border, could be expanded 
through volunteer enlistment and turned into reliable and ef 
fective combat divisions. 

MacArthur became at once a sort of unofficial leader of the 
pro-Guard group. As part of the heritage from his father came 


a passionate belief in the citizen soldier. The son now tell that 
if and when war came, Guard divisions should be sent to 
France simultaneously with the Regular Army outfits. His idea 
found a ready approval in the Secretary s active mind, and it 
was passed on to the country through newspaper correspond 
ents and the special writers who found it pleasant and profita 
ble to drop in for a chat with the affable censor. How deeply 
they appreciated what MacArthur was doing for them was 
proved by a spontaneous document they sent to Mr. Baker two 
days before the United States declared war against Germany. 

The letter was signed by the 29 men who were among 
the most distinguished representatives of their profession in 
Washington. It read: 

Washington, D. C v April 4, ip/7 
The Honorable Newton D. Baker, 
Secretary of War 
Dear Mr. Secretary: 

It seems quite likely that the days of action before us will see 
many changes in the corps of newspaper correspondents who have 
been assigned to the War Department for many months past. 
Some of us will go a-soldiering and others into fields of activity 
connected with the war. Changes will come, too, in the assign 
ment of army officers whom we have learned to know here in the 
Department, and before that time comes, we of the Fourth Es 
tate wish to address to you, and through you to Major Douglas 
MacArthur, our appreciation of the way he has dealt with us 
for all these months in his trying position of military censor. 

We feel no doubt of what the future holds for Major Mac- 
Arthur. Rank and honors will come to him if merit can bring 
them to any man; but we wish to say our thanks to him for the 
unfailing kindness, patience and wise counsel we have received 
from him in the difficult days that are past. 

Our needs have compelled us to tax that patience at all hours 

of the day and night. We have never failed to receive courteous 

treatment from him. Although the censorship imposed was but a 

voluntary obligation upon the press, it has been kept faithfully, 

and we feel that it has been largely because of the fair, wise and 

liberal way in which Major MacArthur exercised his functions 

that this was possible. He has put his own personality into the 


No man can ever know to what extent the cordial relations the 


Major has maintained with the press may have influenced na 
tional thought on military matters. It is unquestionable that his 
hours given to our conferences have never been wasted; they have 
born fruit in what we in our turn have written and if wise de 
cisions are reached eventually as to the military policy of our 
country, we cannot but feel that the major has helped, through 
us, to shape the public mind. 

Edwin M. Hood, A.P. 
George N. Gavin, I.N.S. 
Carl D. Groat, U.P. 
Richard V. Oulahan, N.Y. Times 
Lawrence Hills, N.Y. Sun 
A. N. Jamieson, Central News 
Graf ton S. Wilcox, Chicago Tribune 
Lewellyn Brown, N.Y. Herald 
Frank W. Connor, N.Y. World 
Irwin Barbour, N.Y. American 
L. W. Moffett, Cleveland Daily 

Iron Trade 

L. Ames Brown, Philadelphia Record 
Stephen L Early, A.P. 
Hal H. Smith, N.Y. Times 
Albert W. Fox, N.Y. Sun 
Matthew F. Tighe, N.Y. American 
T. Holman Harvey, U.P. 
Arthur Sweetser, A.P. 
R. M. Boeckel, I.N.S. 
K. L. Simpson, A.P. 
/. K. Dougherty, Washington Times 
Leroy T. Vernon, Chicago Daily News 
W. E. Brigham, Boston Eve g Transcript 
R. A. Zachary, Brooklyn Daily Eagle 
Harry B. Hunt, Scripps-McRae 


Alfred J. Clarke, Washington Star 
E. L. Conn, Foreign Affairs News Service 
O. McKee, Jr., N.Y. World 
Aaron B. Rosenthal, Milwaukee Journal 

While it made very pleasant reading for MacArthur, he 
knew that the letter would arouse more envy among some 


members of the General Staff who were his senior in years 
and rank. After all, his concern at the moment was how to 
shake loose from the General Staff and be assigned to duty 
with the Line and thus with luck get to France and into ac 

He saw Pershing arrive from the Mexican border on May 
10, 1917, and two weeks later secretly slip off for France with 
his small staff. But the young major had little time for wishes 
or regrets; he had the national draft to promote and sell to 
the public, and he had his friendly newspapermen waiting for 
their daily ration of copy and advice. 

When war broke on April 6, 1917, the two oldest officers on the 
active list who were attached to the War Department, were 
Major General Tasker H. Bliss, Chief of Staff, and his West 
Point classmate of the class of 1875, Brigadier General William 
A. Mann, chief of the militia division of the General Staff. 
The Secretary found that General Mann s ideas regarding the 
citizen soldier and the National Guard were closely in ac 
cord with those of Major MacArthur. The two soldiers, one 63 
and the other just turning 37, thought that both the Regular 
Army and the National Guard should be expanded and incor 
porated into the federal service, along with a drafted National 
Army that would be swiftly built up. 

Baker saw the wisdom of the over-all proposal and gave it his 
full support. There was heavy pressure from France urging 
that for morale purposes a Regular Army division should be 
sent overseas as quickly as possible. So tragic was the condition 
of national unpreparedness that the ist Regular Division 
was the single outfit that approached a fair state of readiness. 

When the decision had been reached regarding the ist Regu 
lar Division, the next problem facing the Secretary was which 
army divisions should immediately follow. Some years later 
Mr. Baker, in reply to an inquiry by Brigadier General 
Henry J. Reilly, the official historian of the 4snd Division, 
wrote the following report: 


SB VE L. G i o M 

F R 

Where American troops saw service in France in 1917-1918. 

When the problem arose as to which National Guard divi 
sion should be sent to France first, we faced the situation that 
New York and Pennsylvania were the only states that had com 
plete National Guard divisions and were, therefore, in the most 
advanced stage of preparation for overseas service. We had not 
gone very far in the war, and public psychology was still an un 
certain and mystifying factor. If we sent the New York National 
Guard first, we might have encountered two kinds of comment; 
first, from the people of New York who might have said why 
send our boys first; or, we might have had comment from other 
states charging that we were preferring New York and giving it 
first chance. I disclosed my puzzle to Major MacArthur, who was 
attached to my office at the time. He suggested the possibility o 
our being able to form a division out of the surplus units from 
many states, the major part of whose National Guard organiza 
tions were in multi-state divisions. 

I sent for General Mann, who was Chief of the Militia Division, 
and asked him whether there were enough surplus units to organ 
ize such a division and told him why I wanted to have a division 
which would represent as many states as possible. General Mann 
responded that it would be very easy to form such a Division and 
pointed out some of the states from which elements could be 
drawn. Major MacArthur who was standing alongside said, Fine, 
that will stretch over the whole country like a rainbow/ The Di 
vision thus got its name. 

When General Mann returned to my office a little later with 
the details of his plan for the Division, I said to him that I wanted 
him to prepare the plans, organize the Division, and take it over 
seas as its commanding general on one condition, which was that 
he should take Major MacArthur as his chief of staff. I have rarely 
seen anybody filled with greater enthusiasm than he was for both 
these suggestions. 

It was great news that Douglas MacArthur carried home that 
night to his mother. He knew that while General Mann would 
for a time have the rank and honor of being the commanding 
general of the unique division, it actually was and would con 
tinue to be his own outfit. He would now hold the rank o full 
colonel in the National Army. 


Second only to the ist Division, the Rainbow sponsors had 
the initial good fortune to pick and choose their senior officers 
from the flower of the Regular Army. For their two infantry 
brigade commanders the Mann-MacArthur team chose Colonel 
Robert A. Brown, West Point 1885, and Colonel Michael J. 
Lenihan, class of 1887. The fact that Colonel Brown had 
served as aide-de-camp to Douglas Mac Arthur s father in the 
Philippines in 1901-02 possibly had something to do with his 

For the artillery brigade commander they picked Major 
Charles P. Summerall, class of 1892, who also had served un 
der Major General Arthur Mac Arthur in the Philippines and 
as a first lieutenant in the famous Reilly s Battery of the 5th 
Field Artillery during the Boxer uprising in Peking in 1900. 
Major Summerall was at the moment in charge of field artillery 
affairs in the Militia Bureau of the War Department. 

These three brigade commanders were all made brigadier 
generals in the National Army on August 5, 1917. On that 
same date Major Douglas MacArthur of the Corps of Engineers 
became a colonel of infantry in the National Army. At last he 
was in the Line. 

The majority of the senior officers of the divisional staff were 
from the Regular Army, and a number of unit commanders 
also had been in the regular service. Among these was Major 
Robert E. Wood, West Point 1900, who had retired in 1915 
after serving ten years with distinction on the Panama Canal 
Commission. Wood was made a colonel and was designated as 
commanding officer of the ii7th Train Headquarters and the 
military police. Shortly after arriving in France he and several 
other crack officers were looted from the Rainbow and at 
tached to Pershing s G.H.Q. 

In a rather special way the Rainbow Division was a tight 
and proud outfit. Henry J. Reilly, the unusually able colonel 
of the i49th Field Artillery regiment from Illinois, had been 
three years with MacArthur at West Point, graduating in 1904; 
after ten years of active service as a cavalryman, he resigned to 
become a war correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and a 
pleader for preparedness. And there was Grayson M. P. Murphy, 
who had been a West Point classmate of MacArthur s, even- 


tually resigning from the Army to enter Wall Street. With 
the coming of the war he went to Europe as an American Red 
Cross Commissioner, but when the Rainbow arrived in France, 
he insisted on retiring from his high post and joining the divi 
sion and was assigned Assistant G-g of the staff. 

One of the battalion commanders of the old New York 6gth 
Infantry now designated as the i65th was a brilliant young 
lawyer, William J. Donovan, soon to be dubbed "Wild Bill/ At 
the end of the war he was called "the bravest of the brave" by 
Father Duffy, famous chaplain of the regiment. Donovan was 
the only soldier in the A.E.F. to win every United States dec 
oration, including the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Serv 
ice Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal and two Purple 

The list of superior men in the division was almost endless; 
Colonel Ben Hough of the i66th Ohio and Colonel Bill Screws 
of the i67th Alabama. (How these proud bucks enjoyed an 
swering the inevitable question, "Where you from, Buddy?" 
with their standard reply, "We re from Alagoddambam.") 
Then there was Colonel Robert H. Tyndall of the 150th In 
diana Field Artillery; and Colonel George E. Leach of the 
i5ast Minnesota Field Artillery; Colonel William Kelly, of 
the n7th Engineers, a West Pointer and a regular major of the 
Corps of Engineers, who had graduated No* 2 at the Acad 
emy the year MacArthur entered; and Colonel E. R. Bennett, 
of the i68th Iowa, who wore himself out in the fighting and 
handed over his splendid regiment to Lt. Colonel Matthew A. 
Tinley. Both Bennett and Tinley, as well as all three of the 
battalion majors, had served in the old 5$nd Iowa Volunteers 
under General Arthur MacArthur in his famous 8th Division 
during the Philippine Insurrection. There were other superb 
officers who helped the Rainbow to win fame and immortality. 

At Camp Mills on Long Island Colonel MacArthur worked 
day and night in a wooden shack that housed the division staff 
during August and September 1917 to whip the 27,000 men 
into shape. His goal was not only for the Rainbow to be the 
second complete division to arrive in France, but to take with 
it sufficient extra clothing and equipment to last six months. 

But New England s s6th Division, raised from Guard units 

of the several states in that part of the country, beat the Rain 
bow to France by several weeks. More than half the 2nd Reg 
ular Division also preceded the Rainbow overseas. Hard luck 
seemed to dog the 4snd, for a large part of the supplies it 
had so carefully garnered and carried along including 50,000 
pairs of heavy shoes were confiscated by other outfits or lost 
in the great war shuffle in France. And when the drivers and 
mule skinners from the division wagon trains and the artil 
lery batteries went to the port of St. Nazaire to pick up their 
carefully selected American horses and mules, they got only 
bony, third-rate left-overs raked in from the tiny farms of 
France and Spain. But by this time they had learned to swear 
and repeat the endless refrain C est la guerre. For nothing 
really mattered much as long as the division shared the honor 
of being one of the first four outfits to get to France. 

MacArthur sailed on the Covington, the former Kaiser Wil~ 
helm der Grosse, leaving Hoboken October 18, 1917. He had 
had no single day of leave, not even a Sunday off, since that 
morning in early July when he first spoke the magic word 

The outfit with the beautiful name soon took on much of 
the color, dash and unique flavor of its chief of staff and 
founder. All his life the division was to occupy a peculiar place 
in MacArthur s heart. In the years to come he was never too 
busy to open his door to any man who had worn the Rainbow s 
colorful patch on his sleeve. 

His father had felt the same way about the men who had 
served with him in the 24th Wisconsin in the Civil War, and 
about the soldiers of the six Western regiments that had com 
prised his famous 8th Division in the Philippines. 

From his father he had inherited, along with this pride of 
outfit, a sense of leadership that was of the essence of the elusive 
and deathless thing called soldiering. 

The orders that were handed Colonel MacArthur when the 
Covington tied up to the dock at St. Nazaire on December 
i were extremely disconcerting. 


The infantry regiments aboard the ships in this initial con 
voy were to be unloaded immediately and shipped in the mis 
erable little "4O-and-8" French boxcars to training areas south of 
Toul, in eastern France. But the artillery brigade aboard the 
President Lincoln was not to be disembarked. 

The original plan had been for the brigade to move to the 
artillery training sector at Coetquidam, in the Breton peninsula, 
site of the French military school, where it would receive its 
quota of French 755 for the regiments from Illinois and Min 
nesota, and the new 1555, or heavies, for the Indiana outfit. But 
now came the new orders, and Brigadier General Charles P. 
Summerall and his three regiments could cool their heels 
aboard ship, while they cursed and wondered. 

MacArthur sensed that there was more behind the order 
than met the eye. He sought immediate clarification from 

Then the blow fell: I Corps, that was being organized in 
Chaumont, would consist of three divisions, with the fourth di 
vision the 4snd now arriving to be used as replacements. It 
foretold the end of the Rainbow for 27,000 proud men. 

MacArthur quietly passed on to Brigadier General Summer- 
all the alarming news that the Rainbow was to be a replace 
ment division. MacArthur knew the quality and imagination of 
the artillery colonels, and he knew how deep was Secretary Bak 
er s personal affection for the division. There was still no cen 
sorship in France for private cables to the United States, and 
overnight dispatches started arriving at the Washington offices 
of certain highly placed Senators and Representatives. A day 
or two later important callers began dropping in at the offices 
of the Secretary of War and the Chief of Staff. This rape of 
the Rainbow must be called off. The 42nd Division already 
had helped glue the nation together in its great war effort, and 
it must not be broken up. 

It is uncertain how much Pershing personally resented the 
obvious pressure that had been brought on the War Depart 
ment to cancel his orders that the 42 nd be turned into re 
placements: but there were unquestionably certain members of 
his G.H.Q. who blamed the whole affair on MacArthur and 
never forgave him for what they considered his interference. 

Among these high staff officers that had this feeling were Per- 
shing s G~3, Major General Fox Conner, and Adjutant Gen 
eral "Corky" Davis. Most of this tight group were known as 
"The Ninety-eighters" from their West Point class. They had 
been prominent in the Leavenworth schools, and they had long 
distinguished themselves as staff officers. At the end of the war 
the little G.H.Q. crowd that had never been quite reconciled 
toward the brilliant young Mac Arthur was joined by the then 
Colonel George C. Marshall. 

The infantry regiments of the 42nd had been in training 
camps a bare ten days when orders came to march overland, as 
far as 50 kilometers in some cases, over sleety, slippery roads in 
zero weather. Many of the men were without underwear, and 
there were others who had no overcoats. Some 400 men of 
New York s i65th Infantry were left behind because their shoes 
were too worn to undertake the desperate march. 

Herbert Corey, one of the stern and experienced American 
correspondents in France at that time, listened to MacArthur 
rail against the intolerable situation. So wrought up was he 
that he told Corey he might make full use of the information. 
Corey wrote a bristling, indignant story and submitted it to 
G.H.Q. censorship. It was promptly turned down. Again Corey 
submitted it. It was refused. Corey kept at it until the division 
got adequate clothing. 

On December 15 Major General Mann, who had the 
honor of organizing the division and taking it to France, was 
relieved by Charles T. Menoher, a regular colonel in the 
Field Artillery, who had been a classmate of General Pershing. 
MacArthur soon won the complete confidence of this new com 
manding officer. Never as long as MacArthur was Chief of Staff 
did General Menoher interfere with his practical operation of 
the division. 

By middle December the Rainbow was settled in scattered vil 
lages and farms along the valley of the Meuse river, prepared 
to accept the prospect of a dreary Christmas. It was the coldest 
winter that France had had in many years, and the billets, 


crowded with American troops who were poorly clothed and 
even short of adequate blankets, were bitterly uncomfortable. 

Two days before Christinas General Pershing appeared at 
the division headquarters for his initial inspection. At Camp 
Mills MacArthur had lifted an enterprising young second lieu 
tenant, Walter B. Wolf, from Reilly s 149* Field Artillery, and 
attached him to his staff as a sort of fifth wheel. Wolf, who 
hailed from Chicago, had been a cum laude and crewman at 
Yale, and his alert and loyal mind fulfilled MacArthur s rather 
sharp requirements. 

On this cold pre-Christmas day in France when Pershing told 
MacArthur he wanted to drive around the training area, Mac- 
Arthur chose Lieutenant Wolf to act as a guide and lead off in 
a motorcycle side-car. Unfortunately Wolf overran a turn, and 
Pershing s black Rolls Royce had to back-and-fill and maneuver 
to get turned around and onto the proper road. 

Pershing opened the door of his car and berated the unfor 
tunate Wolf for his error. He was a master at this sort of thing, 
and the rather diffident Wolf was getting nowhere in his at 
tempt at explanation and apology. 

"I think I must share at least half the blame, sir," MacAr 
thur broke in. "Lieutenant Wolf has been on almost constant 
duty at headquarters and he has had little opportunity to 
learn every detail of these roads. I am the one really responsi 

General Pershing grunted his acceptance, and in Wolf, Mac- 
Arthur won a devoted friend for life. 

Constantly MacArthur fought to keep the division together. 
Brigadier General Summerall shortly was ordered to command 
the artillery brigade of the ist Division, and a little later Colo 
nel Robert E. Wood and other valuable officers fell to the long 
arm of G.H.Q. Back in Long Island the Chief of Staff had 
singled out the highly intelligent and tireless Major William J. 
Donovan of the ist Battalion of the iGsth New York as a fight- 
kig man after his own heart. Donovan had been sent to a French 
school of the line soon after they reached France, and the 
commander of the school tapped the brilliant Rainbow officer 
to remain on as an instructor. "Wild Bill" hurried to MacAr 
thur s Headquarters with his story. He did not want to be an 

instructor or in fact anything but the best battalion commandei 
in the Rainbow Division. 

"Let s go, Bill," MacArthur said to him. "Don t ever let them 
get you away from the Line. Fighting men are the real sol 

MacArthur drove Donovan 4o-odd miles to G.H.Q. at Chau- 
mont. He talked his way quickly into the office of the 
commander-m-chief and presented the case of a fighting Irish 
man who wanted to continue to be just that. Pershing nodded 
his approval. He, too, liked fighting men. 

On February 14, 1918, orders came for the 4^nd to move 
into a fairly quiet combat sector in the Lunville and Bac 
carat areas. The division s four infantry regiments were to 
battle-train with four French divisions, and all would be un 
der the command of General DeBazelaire of the French 7th 
Army Corps. 

A number of times American units, preparing for night 
raids or undergoing heavy shelling, suddenly found MacArthur 
in their midst, a tall, serious figure in a barracks cap, with a 
riding crop under his left arm and a quiet word of approval on 
his lips. As a result of his personal leadership in one of these 
raids General DeBazelaire on February 26 recommended Mac- 
Arthur for a Croix de Guerre. It was his first combat medaL 
The second came March 9 when he accompanied a heavy 
daylight raid by French units and two companies of the 16 8th 
Iowa, which 1 8 years before had served under his father in the 
Philippines as the 5ist Iowa Volunteers. The desperate little 
affair brought Colonel MacArthur his first Distinguished Serv 
ice Cross, the second-highest battle decoration his nation could 

The misty, half-rainy March days were ideal for the Ger 
mans to lay down their poison gas barrages. There were no 
frightening explosions as was the case with ordinary artillery 
shells, but only a subdued warning whistle and then a queer 
dull thud as the thin outside casings broke apart and the 
deadly gas escaped. MacArthur, roaming the damp and dan 
gerous front areas, stepped squarely into a saturated spot. 
Wolf, now a captain and acting adjutant, managed to get him 
back to his own quarters. He wanted to take him to the hospi- 


tal, but MacArthur refused and would not even let him send 
for the surgeon. It might mean that he would be separated 
from his command, and he believed that an officer s place was 
with his troops. Save for passing through the outskirts of Paris 
on a troop train, he never so much as entered that city, nor did 
he indulge himself in a single day s leave during the full year 
and a half he was in France. 

On March 21, 1918, the Germans unloosed their great at 
tack in the North against the British Fifth Army, in a desper 
ate gamble to end the war before the American Army was fully 
ready. The four French divisions with which the 42nd had 
been in training were withdrawn, and for 82 straight days the 
Rainbow alone remained in more or less active front-line com 
bat, with battle casualties totaling 2,014 killed and wounded. 
On June 16 the order arrived for its relief. 

The units began at once the march to the loading quays at 
Charmes and other railheads, some of the outfits trudging 40 
miles or more. There was no time for "spit and polish." No 
new clothing had been issued for months, the transport and 
equipment were shabby, and the horses were gaunt and miser 

Since dawn on the day of June 21, Colonel MacArthur 
and Captain Wolf had been on the loading ramps that led to 
the open doors of the tiny horse-and-soldier cars strung out in 
the railroad yards at Charmes. Around 2 in the afternoon Gen 
eral Pershing and some of his staff strode up the ramp. Appar 
ently they had been inspecting the arriving columns, with their 
battle-scarred wagons and artillery trains moving toward the 
several loading points. 

Pershing was a dozen feet away when he turned loose his 
crisp, hard voice on MacArthur. Soldiers and junior officers 
busy on the ramp were close at hand, but there was no effort 
by the Commanding General of the A.E.F. to keep his words 
from their ears or to soften the blow he was delivering. 

"This division is a disgrace," he barked out. "The men are 
poorly disciplined and they are not properly trained. The 
whole outfit is just about the worst I have seen." 

MacArthur was aghast. It was rough enough to come under 

the direct ire of the Commanding General in private, but there 
were others here to listen to every word spoken and see every 
gesture made. 

"MacArthur," General Pershing continued, "I m going to 
hold you personally responsible for getting discipline and or 
der into this division. I m going to hold you personally re 
sponsible for correcting measures with the officers at fault. I 
won t stand for this. It s a disgrace." 

"Yes, sirl" MacArthur answered, as he saluted. 

Pershing gave him no chance to explain. The division had 
been in the muck and misery of the line for almost three 
months. It had just marched 60 kilometers through mud. But 
Pershing wanted no explanations. 

He turned on his heel and stamped off down the ramp. Mae- 
Arthur s face flushed and then drained of blood until it was 
ashen gray. He could not believe what he had heard and seen. 

Without a word he walked toward the little town, its narrow 
streets crowded with men and transport of his division his dis 
graced division. 

Wolf walked by his side. MacArthur spoke no word. Auto 
matically he returned salutes, but he was as one beside himself. 
Finally, half exhausted, he took a seat on a bench in the tiny 
green square. Twilight was descending, and from the rear 
came the shouts of men loading animals and guns and caissons. 
Then he began to talk. The division would suffer now. It 
would be discriminated against. It was utterly unfair. 

Wolf tried to make clear that this was Pershing s way, the 
technique of his rugged discipline. Then why, MacArthur de 
manded, had he not done it quietly and waited for an explana 
tion? What could Pershing have against him? Could it be some 
ancient grudge he might have held against his father? 

Never did MacArthur find the answer. Time and again 
Pershing or his people back in G.H.Q. would send inspectors to 
comb through the division for such little faults as they might 
discover and report. Finally came the last straw. Late one aft 
ernoon a booted and spurred colonel, fresh and immaculate 
from the Inspector General s office at Chaumont, appeared at 
division headquarters with minor complaints. MacArthur 


blazed out at the elegant gentleman, ordering him to get out 
Of the division area under threat that he would personally 
shoot the trouble-maker if he found him there again! 

Apparently MacArthur overwhelmed him by the very fury of 
his anger. Strange things happen in war. 

The division was headed now for the bitter fighting along the 
Marne. The 2nd Division, with its magnificent brigade of ma 
rines, and the 3rd and the s6th Divisions had all done valiant 
work in checking the Boche drive toward Paris. The Rainbow 
would now be grouped with the s6th from New England and 
the 3 snd from Michigan and Wisconsin to form a great road 
block against the coming German attack. 

But at the last minute orders were changed, and the Rain 
bow was assigned to the brilliant, one-armed General Henri 
J. E. Gouraud and his famous French Fourth Army, Evidence 
had come to Foch that the Germans were about to launch an 
all-out attack in the white chalk cliffs and plains of the Cham 
pagne to the south of the Marne in a terrific effort to break 
through to Paris. 

On July 4 the division swung to the right toward its new 
battle destination. Gouraud, alert to the new type of by-pass 
offensive that the Germans had worked out in their successful 
rolling back of the British Fifth Army on March 21, 1918, 
had evolved a completely new theory of defense. The Boche 
had swiftly broken through and around the heavily manned 
British front lines and pushed ahead toward the lightly held 
rear areas. Here in the Champagne the actual forward lines 
were now manned by skeleton sacrifice units, waiting to fire 
their rocket signals when the German barrage lifted and the 
gray-clad troops began their actual assault. 

The intermediary line of defense would be held by wired-m 
pockets with machine guns and ample fire power. Once the 
Germans succeeded in breaking up or by-passing this middle 
line of defense nests, they would then come into contact with 
the main defenses. It was an entirely new idea of defense-in- 


depth that promised to become a death-trap to those who broke 
through the first two lines. 

July 14 was Bastille Day, the greatest of all French holidays. 
Wise old Gouraud figured the Boche might attempt their 
break-through at dawn, and when the day passed bright and 
quiet, he staged a little supper in the late afternoon at the for 
tified Ferme de Suippe, which he used as his battle headquar 
ters. Mac Arthur with the other colonels and general officers of 
the Rainbow sat down at the long table, interspersed among the 
men of Gouraud s staff and high officers of the French troops 
in the sector. 

It was a plain but excellent meal, such as only French army 
chefs in those war days seemed to know how to create al 
most out of nothing. And when the meal was over, the great 
General rose and made a speech so touching and so heart 
warming that no one there can ever forget it. Candles flickered 
along the long, pine table, and tears filled men s eyes. 

The meeting broke up while the glow of twilight made it 
still possible for the various commanders to return to their bat 
tle stations before night fell. 

Luck was with Gouraud, in large measure because of an in 
credible act of valor on the part of four French reconnais 
sance soldiers. Late that evening they penetrated the German 
front lines and drifting far to the rear located the exact posi 
tion of the main attack force and captured a Prussian who 
had the written orders for the coming attack. It was clear that 
the enemy artillery bombardment was to begin exactly at mid 
night. Four hours later the infantry would start their assault. 

Gouraud moved swiftly. He ordered the Allied guns to open 
at 11:30 P.M., one half-hour before the Boche guns started fir 
ing. Every road, gun nest and concentrating area in the en 
emy s rear was to be shelled without letup. It was a deadly 
gamble; if the information was wrong, it would tip off the 
Germans to the complete awareness of the defenders. 

MacArthur, watching the Allied bombardment from the en 
trance of his dugout a little behind the main line of defense, 
checked the minutes as they slipped by; 12 midnight and no 
answering bombardment; 12:05 and still no move; 12:10 and 


thousands of enemy guns seemed to rip the sky apart and shoot 
down the very stars. It was the greatest concentration of artillery 
the world had known. The boom of the big guns on both sides 
could be heard that night in Paris, almost 100 miles away. 
France was again in peril. 

At 4:17 in the morning the German bombardment of the 
front lines lifted, and out of the dawn came the gray-clad 
Boche. The warning rockets exploded in the red skies, and the 
isolated lookouts, including Rainbow men, went to their death. 

Units of all four of the 42nd Division infantry regiments, 
in their islands along the intermediate position, worked their 
guns and held their ground. The Germans flowed around 
them, only to crash into the main defense line. In a few spots 
the enemy broke through, but everywhere else he was repulsed 
and driven back. In due time came the French and Ameri 
can counterattacks, and by afternoon the outcome was clear: 
the last great attack of the Germans in the war had failed. 
Paris was saved. 

MacArthur would never serve again under the old French 
hero, but there was no question that each appealed deeply 
to the other. In General Gouraud the American found his ideal 
battle commander, and from the older man s wisdom and flam 
ing patriotism he took certain indestructible truths that be 
came a part of his philosophy of life and war. 

Years later when he was Army Chief of Staff, MacArthur 
sent a Christmas cable to the aging Gouraud. It read: "Like 
wine, time only improves the flavor of a great comradeship." 

Long before this date, the crippled little hero had attested to 
his side of the unique friendship. The particular proof lies in 
a curious document that bears printing: 



May 15, 1919 

From: Lt. Col. S.L.H. Slocum 
To: The Adjutant General, Washington 
Subject: Brigadier General Douglas MacArthur 

i. Recently while visiting the French Front and the Army of 
Occupation, I met General Gouraud, French Army, at luncheon 

in Strasburg. After the luncheon General Gouraud came up to 
me and asked me if I knew General Douglas MacArthur of the 
American Army. I stated I did know him. He then remarked: 
"I consider General MacArthur to be one of the finest and bravest 
officers I have ever served with." 

2. I think this should be put on General MacArthur s personal 

S.L.H. Slocum, 
Lt. Colonel 

Somehow in those chalk hills and deadly woods of the Cham 
pagne and in the terror of the German attack that failed, Mac- 
Arthur caught a glimpse of the new technique in offensive tac 
tics that he would mull over for a quarter-century to come. 
Then, when his own moment arrived, he would lift the lesson 
in tactics into the realm of strategy and the great by-pass of 
the Southwest Pacific would be born. 

It was time for Generalissimo Foch to strike back. The fifth 
and last great German attack of the spring and summer of 
1918 had failed, and the power of decision was now for the 
first time in almost four years in the hands of the Allies. 

On the west side of the deep Marne bulge near the impor 
tant railhead of Soissons, the ist and 2nd American Divisions 
were hurriedly larded between French outfits, and on July 18 
a desperate Allied offensive opened. It was never to cease until 
the signing of the Armistice on November 1 1. 

Two days after the offensive began, the 42nd was withdrawn 
from the Champagne defensive front and ordered to the Marne 
to fight under General Degoutte of the French Sixth Army. In 
the black, murky night of July 25-26, the infantry regiments 
of the two brigades began to unload from buses and other car 
riers with orders to relieve at dawn the units of the exhausted 
26th New Englanders. For almost a week the men of the U. S. 
26th and the $rd Divisions with a brigade of the 28th had 
driven the stubborn enemy from the north bank of the Marne 
toward the high hills across the tiny Ourcq river. To add 
to the general confusion and uncertainty, General Menoher, 


MacArthur s division commander, now received orders that the 
Germans, who were now pulling out, must be pursued and kept 
off-base at all cost. It was a frightening and bewildering front, 
and part of that first morning s fighting was with the bayonet 
alone under orders that no shots be fired. But the real surprise 
was the other way around; Rainbow men going forward through 
the mists suddenly heard the death song of German bullets from 
hidden machine guns ahead of them and on both flanks. 

MacArthur walked the deadly woods and studied the fields 
of slaughter. He realized the terrible mistake: the Germans 
were no longer rapidly retreating with only a small rear guard 
left to cover their withdrawal. Instead, substantial Boche forces 
had settled down here on these slopes and in these bits of pro 
tecting woods, and behind stout stone walls and farm buildings 
they had planted their heavy machine guns and mortars in a 
determined defense. No American advances were possible un 
less made over cleared fields swept by enemy fire. Yet there were 
orders from higher up that demanded that they cross the river 
and take the slopes beyond, regardless of the complete lack of 
artillery preparation to silence the German positions. 

No words can describe the terror and death that lay in wait 
along these poppy-covered hillsides and in the woods and wall- 
enclosed farms of the green countryside. Doughboys from New 
York and Ohio, from Iowa and Alabama and special units from 
a dozen other states stalked the spitting machine-gun nests, only 
to be cut to shreds by deadly streams spurted at them from some 
unsuspected direction. 

Finally they learned how to crawl forward in twos and 
threes, Indian fashion, and when some unconquerable little 
group had reached a nest of stubborn enemy guns, they would 
throw their hand grenades and then spring on the enemy. It 
was not strange that few prisoners were taken. 

The succeeding five days and nights were full of anguish for 
MacArthur. He had nothing to do but follow the orders sent 
down from Corps and Army. Sergy, Mercy Farm, Nesles, Foret 
de F&re, Hill 212 these were names and memories that would 
forever live in his mind. He vowed that he would never be 
guilty of ordering a brutal frontal attack without full recon- 







naissance, sure information and adequate bombardment prep 

It seemed the end would never come. Stubbornly held points 
would be taken, and then came deadly enemy fire and counter 
attacks. The same stone farms and bits of woods change hands 
a half-dozen times. There was neither rest nor hope. 

Shortly after midnight on August i Captain Wolf, inspecting 
the battalion and company posts of command, noted unusual 
activity out front in the German lines. He reported back to 
MacArthur s command post. Then runners whom Wolf had left 
behind came in with the word that there was a sudden end to all 
Boche activity. 

MacArthur needed no more proof. He was certain now that 
the Germans were withdrawing. At 3:30 that morning he 
walked along the entire division front, calling at each battalion 
C.P. He ordered the various units to move ahead immediately. 
They must dog the steps of the retreating Germans. 

There was no time to seek the approval of his own division 
commander or of the corps headquarters. MacArthur alone 
must assume the grave responsibility for ordering the dawn ad 
vance. If he was wrong, he might have to pay for his brash 
courage with his military career. But he knew he could not 
be wrong. 

That day the 4th Division of Regulars passed through the 
battered 42nd to harass the enemy retreating to the high south 
ern slopes of the Vesle. The Rainbow was to be denied the 
privilege of hot pursuit, but MacArthur, who had always in 
sisted that combat engineers could serve as first-class infantry 
men, saw to it that the Rainbow s i i7th Engineers took part in 
at least the first half of the great follow-up. 

The weary Rainbow now buried its dead and carried off its 
wounded. Quietly it slipped back into the warm, sunny valley 
of the Marne. 

Here the men bathed in the pleasant stream and revelled in 
clean, fresh clothing and new equipment and in a great influx 
of replacements. For the Rainbow had paid a frightful cost 
for the few kilometers it had gained on the Ourcq and for the 
glory it had won. In the five days it had suffered casualties in 

killed and wounded of 5,529, mostly in its four regiments of in 

MacArthur, lonely in his heartache and distressed by the 
mistake that had been made by the high command, now wore 
a single star on each shoulder. Shortly after the division had 
left the Lorraine front, word had come to him that he had 
been nominated as a brigadier general. Later came the devas 
tating news that he was to be sent home to command and train 
a brigade of the newly organized nth Regular Division to be 
formed at Camp Meade, Maryland. 

The Rainbow s commander, Major General Menoher, reg 
istered his violent protest. Captain Wolf hurried to Chaumont 
with the plea that MacArthur could not be spared at the very 
moment when the division was about to bear a goodly part in 
the coming Champagne offensive. Nevertheless, there were re 
peated orders for him to leave his beloved outfit. Finally, how 
ever, he was permitted to stay on. 

The killing and the sleepless rigor of hard battle on the 
Ourcq had been a little too much for the fatherly Brigadier 
General Brown of the 84th Infantry Brigade. It called for the 
stamina and endurance of a younger man. MacArthur would 
now take over the two regiments of the 84th Brigade, the stout 
men from Alabama and Iowa. Rebel and Yank, they fought 
joyously among themselves, but when they faced the enemy, 
they battled side by side almost as a single unit. 

No longer would MacArthur have to worry over the count 
less details of supply, equipment, transport, training and bat 
tle plans for a great square division. He would now have for 
his own two magnificent regiments with their supporting 
troops and machine-gun battalions and always he would in 
sist on a full brigade of artillery to support his attacks. 

He could now break with his telephone and his division 
headquarters. He could fight his brigade on his own feet, try 
out his own theories of command and leadership. He was 38 
and ready for the test. 



It was an experienced and far wiser division that jumped off 
on the St. Mihiel front two weeks after the end of the bloody 
Ourcq fighting. 

The clearing out of this strong St. Mihiel salient, which the 
Germans had held for four years, was a purely professional jab 
for the toughened Rainbow and its comrades in the ist and 
8gth Divisions, with the 3rd Division the famous "Rock of the 
Marne" in reserve. By noon of that first murky day the Rain 
bow men reached the objective set for their initial drive. A 
thousand prisoners snailed back to the prepared pens in the 
rear. MacArthur s 84th Brigade had enveloped the stubborn 
Bois de la Sonnard and then driven straight through it. 

By the following noon the division had almost reached its 
final objectives, and its casualties had remained light. MacAr- 
thur, remembering the deadly confusion and mistakes of the 
Ourcq battle, had vowed that he would have no part in need 
less slaughter. Never again would a soldier of his be sacrificed 
unless it was absolutely necessary. He would obey orders, but he 
would never hesitate to appeal with all his power against in 
structions he knew were wrong and costly. The commander on 
the spot must have flexibility and a certain power of decision. 
He never forgot the terrible lesson he had learned on the 

The afternoon of the second day at St. Mihiel a group of 
Mgh officers, gathered on the top of a small knoll, witnessed 
one of those rare moments that now and again light up battle 
fields with a strange glory. There ahead, on down the broad 
Wouvre plain and scarcely more than a dozen miles away, lay 
the hazy outlines of the prize city of Metz. It was like a faint 
mirage floating low on the distant horizon, daring men to seek 

it out. An army corps brazen enough and of sufficiently des 
perate courage might drive straight to it, cut the great lines of 
communication behind the German front and possibly bring 
the war to a dramatic close. These American officers were quite 
willing to make a try. 

But instead, MacArthur and his brigade were ordered to take 
over the division s front and organize quickly a sturdy line of 
defense. Two weeks later the 84th was relieved by its sister 
brigade, and MacArthur and his Iowa and Alabama boys along 
with the other units attached to his outfit settled down in the 
rear areas to rest and recoup. 

It was October i when the Rainbow moved out toward the 
vast, shifting battlefield along the 4O-mile American front of 
the Meuse-Argonne. Since September 25 the greatest offensive 
battle that American troops had ever fought was thundering 
and roaring ahead. At the start 7 full American divisions were 
in the front line, and before the battle was over a total of 27 
U. S. divisions were engaged. No less than a million Americans 
would win the right to wear the battle star of this final Meuse- 
Argonne offensive. A successful break-through to Sedan on the 
Meuse meant the penetration of the great Hindenburg Line 
and the probable defeat of the Boche. 

Five days after the rested Rainbow began its march for 
ward its units crossed into the battle area, slithering and 
slipping over the greasy roads and trails, through dripping 
patches of forests and battered little towns toward the fighting. 
For nearly a week its men lay soaked and half-frozen in the 
crowded, muddy woods of Montfaucon, well within the cap* 
tured territory. 

Then on the late afternoon of October 11, they slowly 
trudged northward over the blasted roads under intermittent 
shelling, and on midnight of the following day they relieved 
the completely exhausted ist Division. 

These fortified hills and dangerous woods formed the last of 
the mighty German defenses in the Argonne. Here was a key 
part of the final Hindenburg Line, locally known as the Kriem- 
hilde Stellung. It had defied and broken the back of the mag 
nificent ist Division. Major General Charles P. Summerall had 
fought his splendid outfit with courage and determination, but 


deep trenches and endless wire and uncountable enemy can 
non and hidden machine guns that spurted streams of hot steel 
from nowhere were too much for the stoutest of hearts and the 
bravest of souls. 

For his superb leadership Summerall had been rewarded 
with the V Corps, but the ist Division had battered itself half 
to death, and now the Rainbow must take up where it had left 

MacArthur, often alone, carefully surveyed the desolate and 
forbidding country that his brigade must fight over. There 
were rolling hills, partly wooded, with valleys of death between 
the endless folds of the ridges, and mist and cold and danger 
were everywhere. He seemed to have a sixth sense when shell 
fire would lift for a short period and he could hurry on foot 
across some open bit of country or down some dangerous slope. 
Squalls of gis and shellfire broke like puffs of wind off shore. 

Toward the end of his first day of reconnaissance he was 
caught squarely in a poison gas attack and made his way back 
to his C.P. with difficulty. He would carry no gas mask and 
wear no steel helmet. It was sheer recklessness but it was also a 
gesture of defiance to the enemy that helped build morale in 
his own troops, even though it was against definite orders. 

This time his gas wound was far worse than the one on the 
Lorraine front. Major Wolf, his adjutant, feared that the war 
was over for him. But MacArthur stubbornly refused to be 

With uncanny intuition he saw that the position on the 
right of his brigade line, which Iowa s i68th Infantry must oc 
cupy this night for its jump-off at dawn, was actually a kilome 
ter and a half within Boche-held country. This would put it 
squarely on the line where the supporting American artillery 
would lay down its preliminary barrage. 

MacArthur was violently ill, but there was no moment to 
lose if the mistake was to be corrected in time. He ordered 
Wolf to contact corps headquarters immediately and report the 
ghastly error. At dawn MacArthur left his C.P. and on foot 
visited the commanders of the advance battalions of his two 
regiments and checked on the new dispositions he had ordered. 

On his right were the splendid fighters of the gand Divi- 

sion from Wisconsin and Michigan, who had batttled alongside 
the Rainbowers on the slopes of the Ourcq. On his left were 
the stalwarts of the New York and Ohio regiments of the 
Rainbow. It was a magnificent team. 

For the next two days, October 14 and 15, little units of 
American soldiers, well-spaced and thoroughly experienced, 
crawled and sneaked and side-slipped from one bit of cover to 
another. Suddenly they would close in to form squads and pla 
toons for a swift envelopment that would gain them a toe-hold 
on some slope or deadly hill notched with machine-gun im- 

By nightfall of the first day Hill 288 was in the hands of 
the Iowa men. The following day Hill 242 fell, and then the 
fortified Tuilerie Farm. Every foot of the front areas was dan 
gerous and uncertain. A burst of machine-gun fire would sud 
denly break the silence, and now and again a battery of enemy 
775 would open up on some valley road, or hidden mortars 
would shell a wooded slope that was sheltering for the moment 
an advancing platoon. Death, blind and remorseless, whistled 
and sang its way through the cold mists. 

Early one morning Lincoln Eyre, the tall, distinguished cor 
respondent of the New York World, with a war reporter of the 
Chicago Tribune [the author] arrived at MacArthur s head 
quarters. At that very moment the General and Wolf with a 
soldier or two were approaching the battered old farmhouse 
from the direction of the front. The General wore a barracks 
cap and black West Point sweater, and his shoes and puttees 
were muddy and wet. It was obvious that he was returning from 
a private reconnaissance of his own. 

With the greetings over the little party moved toward the 
stone building. Someone whispered that MacArthur had had a 
close call. He had run into one of his own platoons stalking a 
hidden machine-gun nest off to the left. He was giving the men 
his benediction when an enemy bullet clipped the left sleeve 
of his sweater. The Tribune correspondent now hurried along 
side the General and pointed toward the ravelled sleeve. 

"When did brigadier generals get to be expendable?" he 

MacArthur grinned a little sheepishly. Finally he answered: 

"Well, there are times when even general officers have to be 
expendable. Come on inside and we ll rustle some coffee." 

His people were making progress but there still remained 
the deadliest task of all the Cote de Chatillon. Dominating 
the whole scene lay this key obstacle, the entrenched Hill of 
Chatillon, heavily wired, its machine guns enfilading the 
slopes and valleys surrounding it. 

Early the night before, runners from captured Hill 242 had 
brought word to MacArthur that a patrol had discovered that 
the deep belt of wire entanglements around the lower slopes of 
the Cote de Chatillon dribbled out half-way around its north 
western base. With men from Alabama and Iowa planted on 
its flanks, MacArthur now saw his chance. He directed that 
during the night all the heavy machine guns in his brigade 
be concentrated for a long barrage, while artillery battalions 
would open with their heaviest possible fire. He knew, how 
ever, that observation would be most difficult in the hazy mist 
of the morning. 

It was midnight and raining when MacArthur finished draw 
ing up his plans for the attack. Suddenly the door of his ad 
vanced C.P. opened and General Summerall, V Corps com 
mander, entered the candle-lit room. He was haggard and 
muddy and tired. A plate of cold food and a mess cup of steam 
ing black coffee was set out for him. Finished, he pushed back 
from the rough table. 

His voice was low as he spoke directly to the brigade com 
mander. "You will give me Cote de Chatillon tomorrow or 
turn in a report of 5,000 casualties." 

MacArthur brought his heels together. "This brigade will 
capture C6te de Chatillon tomorrow, sir, or you can report ev 
ery man in it as a casualty. And at the top of the list will be the 
name of the brigade commander." 

Tears came to the eyes of the grizzled old soldier. He seemed 
stunned and uttered no word. He had served under Douglas 
MacArthur s warrior father. It had taken an iron will on his 
part to order the attack that might bring death to hundreds 
and even to the son of his dear friend Arthur MacArthur. War 
was a grim and ugly business. 

As silently as he entered, he opened the door and stepped 
out into the black night. 

At dawn MacArmur, still ill and shaken from his gas wound, 
moved out for the final word with his battalion commanders. 
At 5:30 he watched the First Battalion of the i68th Iowa move 
out from the Tuilerie Farm. Some time later a provisional bat 
talion of the iGyth Alabama stalked stealthily to the right 
toward the opening in the wire. 

And now the two battalions moved cautiously forward 
through the mist, while a curtain of fire was set down ahead of 
them. Like the arms of a great pincer the attackers closed in 
on both sides of the fortified hill that for days had defied the 
best that the Americans had to throw against it. 

Suddenly German defenders in their trenches and nests 
found men in khaki among them hard, pinched-cheeked, dirty 
men, with bloodshot eyes and cold steel in their hearts. And 
death came swiftly to these Bodies, and the key to victory be 
longed to the soldiers from a far-away land. 

Thus fell the Cote de Chatillon. MacArthur in later years 
could never even mention the name without visible emotion. 

That night the least chewed-up battalions of the 84th Brigade 
took over the front line positions that they had won at such 
cost. For MacArthur s men had been forced to pay a heavy 
price for the victory. B and C Companies of the Iowa regiment 
welded together and commanded by a lieutenant could muster 
only 70 men out of their original 500. The entire ist Battalion 
had only 300 men and 6 officers remaining. In three days the 
i68th Iowa Regiment alone had lost 1,150 men and 25 offi 

The toughest nut of the Kriemhilde Stellung was cracked, 
but the Rainbow must now step aside and watch the 2nd Di 
vision with its deathless Marine Brigade step in and take up 


the pursuit. There was fighting enough and honor enough for 

Ten days after the C6te de Chatillon fell, and while the di 
vision replaced its terrible losses, it was transferred from Sum- 
meralFs V Corps. That same cold, muggy day Summerall, the 
splendid old soldier, who was universally recognized as one of 
the finest battle commanders in France, wrote a formal letter 
to the commander of the 4%nd Division. It had to do princi 
pally with the exploits of the 84th Brigade, and copies eventu 
ally would go forward to the great G.H.Q. of the American Ex 
peditionary Force. He wrote: 

This Brigade [the 84th], under the command of Brigadier Gen 
eral Douglas MacArthur, has manifested the highest soldierly 
qualities and has rendered service of the greatest value during 
the present operations. With a dash, courage and a fighting spirit 
worthy of the best traditions of the American Army, this Brigade 
carried by assault the strongly fortified Hill 228 on the Kriem- 
hilde Stellung and unceasingly pressed its advance until it cap 
tured the Tuilerie Ferme and the Bois de Chatillon, thus placing 
itself at least a kilometer beyond the enemy s strong line of re 
sistance. During this advance the enemy fought with unusual 
determination with a first class division and in many instances 
resorted to hand to hand fighting when our troops approached 
his rear. The conduct of this brigade has reflected honor upon 
the Division, the Army and the States from which the Regiments 

The final ten days before the Armistice of November 1 1 were 
in the nature of a weird and almost unearthly anti-climax. 

After the brief but utterly exhausting period spent in break 
ing through the last Hindenburg Line, the 42nd Division was 
permitted to recoup itself. It was now attached to I Corps and 
ordered to drive with little short of abandon toward the great 
German rail center of Sedan where 48 years before the French 
armies of Napoleon III had suffered complete defeat. 

So it was that across the cold and miserable country, still 

held by stubborn pockets of German resistance, the two infan 
try brigades, covered by their artillery trailing close behind, 
slogged and fought their way toward Sedan and the Meuse 
river. There was much sickness and exhaustion, and the battle 
casualties continued to mount. 

Almost as deadly to morale as the hidden enemy fire were 
the latrine rumors of an early peace. Added to freezing nights 
in the open and the pinched rations, was the factor of general 
confusion and uncertainty. At times the fighting seemed to be 
almost automatic. 

Across the wide front and straddling both sides of the Meuse 
river, the American divisions, now more or less on their own, 
lunged ahead against a still obstinate enemy. On the afternoon 
of November 5 General Fox Conner, G-g of Pershing s G.H.Q., 
drove to Lt. General Hunter Liggett s First Army Headquar 
ters with the information that he had just received a telephone 
call from General Pershing indicating that he wanted the First 
Army, with its I and V Corps, to capture Sedan. 

Here, at the First Army, miles to the rear of even the two 
corps headquarters, Colonel George C. Marshall, now assistant 
chief of staff and G-3 chief of the operations section of the 
First Army, wrote out the strange order, under the prompting 
of General Fox Conner. But the junior officer, Marshall, was in 
no way to be held responsible for the subsequent happenings. 
Since Lt. General Liggett was absent, the order was held up 
until the arrival of Brigadier General Hugh A. Drum, the 
chief of staff of the First Army. It was dispatched sometime 
that evening, but there was bitter night patrol fighting on out 
ahead, and nothing was done at the two corps headquarters un 
til the following day. The order read: 

Memorandum for Commanding Generals, I Corps 

V Corps 
Subject: Message from the Commander-in-Chief 

1. General Pershing desires that the honor of entering Sedan 
should fall to the First American Army. He has every confidence 
that the troops of the ist Corps, assisted by the 5th Corps, will 
enable him to realize this desire. 

2. In transmitting the foregoing message, your attention is in- 


vited to the favorable opportunity now existing, for pressing our 
advantage throughout the night. Boundaries will not be con 
sidered binding. 

By command of Lieutenant General Liggett 
G. C. Marshall, 
A. C. of S., G-3 

Largely as a result of the intemperate final sentence in the 
order "Boundaries will not be considered binding" there 
now occurred one of those unforeseen and bitter incidents that 
sometimes happen. In these rare instances officers and men, 
exhausted, confused and yet inspired by the pride and courage 
of their individual outfit, are somehow able to call on unknown 
reserves of endurance to drive them on to ends so ambitious 
that they border on folly. 

Briefly, the position on the morning of November 6 was 
about as follows: The French 40th Division held the left of an 
advancing American line that, reading from left to the right, 
comprised the 4^nd and 77th U. S. Divisions of the I Corps, 
commanded by General Joseph T. Dickman; then on the right 
the ist, snd, and 8gth Divisions of the V Corps under General 
SummeralL The 4$nd Division at this moment possibly faced 
the toughest enemy resistance on its front of any of the several 
divisions in this area. It was nearest to Sedan. 

At midday of November 6 General Summerall, V Corps 
commander, strode into the ist Division s C.P,, bringing with 
him the request made by Pershing. General Frank Parker, the 
able and driving commander of the ist Division, immediately 
set his tired but game regiments into motion. As well as any 
one in the whole A.E.F. he knew Pershing s great pride in the 
ist. The concluding sentence in the order, Boundaries will not 
be considered binding, gave the division commander all the 
latitude anyone could ask. 

Immediately General Parker ordered his division to drive 
in five columns toward the prize city. Luckily the 77th es 
caped most of the galling humiliation of having the columns of 
another division, without definite authority, march straight 
through its own area. To the Rainbow, however, the sudden 

intrusion of the ist Division troops cutting across its positions 
brought a flaring of temper and pride that narrowly missed 
having tragic consequences. 

By nightfall of this memorable November 6 the Rainbow s 
84th Brigade found itself stretched out along high ridges that 
overlooked the Meuse river, with the city of Sedan only a few 
miles ahead. Late that afternoon MacArthur had received the 
order to push the final drive toward the prize, regardless of the 
night march involved and without consideration for the ex 
hausted condition of his men. He knew there was a strong force 
of the enemy directly between him and the river, and he would 
accept no part in the losses that a night advance would cause. 
He dispatched Major Wolf to the Division C.P., explaining the 
situation and asking permission not to move until early the fol 
lowing morning. He then lay down in the hope of gaining a 
little sleep. 

Sometime after midnight he was awakened by his adjutant 
accompanied by a colonel of the staff of the ist Division, who 
explained that despite the unknown dangers of the night, the 
elements of the ist were now crowding the roads of Mac- 
Arthur s area, and that as a result of the precipitate drive the 
advancing i6th and i8th Infantry Regiments of the ist had 
overrun their own wagons and supply trucks and were com 
pletely out of food. 

MacArthur ordered that his own scanty rations be divided 
with the brother regiments. Then in the cold and hazy uncer 
tainty of the pre-dawn he decided that he must personally warn 
his own troops of possible collision. He feared that the unortho 
dox relaxing of division boundaries might lead to bloodshed. 
In the confusion of battle, Americans might well fire into un 
identified American columns which had crossed division lines. 
He had best do this important job himself, and he started off 
with Wolf. 

Morning was just breaking when the two officers were sud 
denly surrounded by a strong patrol of American soldiers. A 
young lieutenant, with his pistol cocked, declared them cap 
tives. His suspicions had been aroused by the odd barracks cap 
MacArthur was wearing and the long woolen muffler wrapped 


round his neck; the lieutenant and his men had been warned 
of possible spies wearing American uniforms, and their ex 
hausted nerves inclined to make them trigger-happy. 

Quietly the General explained the identity of himself and 
his adjutant. The -young officer answered that he belonged to 
the i6th Infantry of the ist Division. He had his orders, and 
he must take the two officers back to his own battalion com 
mander. At that moment MacArthur saw emerging through the 
mist and far down the slope a column that almost certainly was 
made up of his own troops. He suggested his captors take him 
there, and when they reached the heavy patrol of the 42nd, 
the lieutenant saluted, apologized a little awkwardly and went 
his way. 

A day later General Liggett, the First Army commander, 
wisely untangled the dangerous snarl by angrily ordering the 
ist Division out of the Rainbow s area. To the French Army 
rightfully went the honor of recapturing Sedan, and thus at 
least partially avenging the great military humiliation it had 
suffered there so many years before. 

So in the end MacArthur and his weary men and the rest of 
the exhausted 42nd Division reversed their direction, began a 
side-slip to the rear and east and headed for the pontoon 
bridges that had been flung across the Meuse. It took all of 
MacArthur s leadership to keep his tired and ragged foot 
sloggers in hand. The fine razor s edge of their discipline and 
pride had been nicked and dulled by the rumors of peace 
and the subsequent feeling that they had been cheated of the 
honor of capturing Sedan. 

Around 9 o clock on the evening of November 10 MacArthur 
came into his temporary C.P. and heard the news that the for 
mal armistice was set for 11 o clock the following morning. 
The division was now close to Buzancy, and not far away from 
the scene of one of its greatest victories. MacArthur went on 
foot from one outfit to another carrying the news that appar 
ently the war was over. But the men were so tired that their 
tide of emotion had long ago spent itself. 

That night he found 60 wounded Americans who had been 
prisoners of the Germans and with some 200 wounded Boche 
had been housed in a makeshift hospital. They all had been 

hastily abandoned when the retreating enemy was forced out 
of the area. 

MacArthur and his exhausted troops welcomed the armis 
tice but it seemed to come as an anti-climax. In his own heart 
there was no exaltation, only compassion. He had not thought 
it would be this way on the eve of the final victory for which 
he and his men had fought so valiantly. 

Major General Menoher had now been rewarded by receiving 
command of a corps. For the next two weeks, while the divi 
sion fought through the final days and began its advance into 
Germany, MacArthur, as the senior officer present, commanded 
the division. He showed no outward sign of his disappointment 
that he had not been made a major general. He knew that both 
his old division commander, General Menoher, and his former 
corps commander, General Summerall, had made every possi 
ble effort to have him promoted. 

The marching columns had barely reached Luxembourg 
when MacArthur received a personal letter that had arrived in 
the carrier pouch from G.H.Q. at Chaumont. It read: 


(Personal) France, Nov. 29., 1918 

My dear General MacArthur: 

It gives me great pleasure to inform you that on Oct. 17, I 
recommended you for promotion to the grade of Major General, 
basing my recommendation upon the efficiency of your service 
with the American Expeditionary Force. 

The War Department discontinued all promotions of General 
Officers after the signing of the Armistice, and I regret that you 
will not therefor receive the deserved recognition of your excel 
lent services. 

Sincerely yours, 

(Signed) John ]. Pershing 

There were additional evidences of the regard of his superi 
ors for MacArthur. The dead had hardly been buried in front 
of the Cote de Chatillon, near the end of October, when the 


Rainbow s commander, Major General Menoher, dispatched a 
letter to his West Point classmate, the Commander-in-Ghief of 
the American Armies, on the subject of the "Distinguished Serv 
ices of Brigadier General MacArthur." 

It is a long document, covering more than 2,000 words, and 
there is a fire and passion about it. It began: 

I do not feel that my duty with the 42nd Division has been com 
pleted and that I am free to assume another command without 
recording the services rendered by the former Chief of Staff and 
one of the present infantry brigade commanders of the Division, 
General Douglas MacArthur, throughout the period during which 
I commanded the 42 nd Division, These services, rendered con 
stantly, for over a year, and in the large part amidst active opera 
tions in the field, have been so soundly, brilliantly and loyally 
performed that in the recognition of them I see only a fair ap 
praisal of the example of energy, courage and efficiency which 
General MacArthur has set to the 42nd Division and to our entire 
Army in France. The contributions made to our military estab 
lishment by this general officer while under my command have 
already had far-reaching effects. He has stood for the actual phys 
ical command of large bodies of troops in battle, not of a day but 
of days duration, and I believe has actually commanded larger 
bodies of troops on the battle line than any other officer in our 
Army, with, in each instance, conspicuous success. He has de 
veloped, combined and applied the use of the infantry and cor 
related arms with an effect upon the enemy, a husbandry of his 
own forces and means and a resourcefulness which no other com 
mander in the field has. . . . 

For his field leadership, generalcy and determination during 
three days of constant combat (in front of the C6te de Chatillon), 
I was happy to recommend to you for a second time that he be 
made a Major General, which recommendation the Corps Com 
mander, General Summerall, entirely concurred in and approved. 
For his gallantry and determination in the field, though again 
suffering from gas poisoning, I recommended General MacArthur 
for a palm of the Distinguished Service Cross, which action Gen 
eral Summerall also endorsed with his approval. . . . 

This record represents the unremitting endeavor of a very bril 
liant and gifted officer who has, after more than a year s full serv 
ice in France without a day apart from his division or his com 
mand, and although twice wounded in action, filled each day 

with a loyal and intelligent application to duty such as is, among 
officers in the field and in actual contact with battle, without 
parallel in our Army. . . / 

General Menoher s extraordinary letter of commendation 
bore the date of October 30. The war ended twelve days later. 
Five days after the signing of the Armistice an officer reported 
at the Rainbow s headquarters with personal orders to super 
vise a special board to consider recommendations for the Medal 
of Honor within the division. 

There was little time to do anything about the matter until 
the division was settled in its pleasant billets along the Rhine. 
Shortly the board of awards was selected by the division head 
quarters, and Major Walter Wolf was made recorder. 

Among a number of the younger officers there was a deter 
mined feeling that their former chief of staff and present 
commander of the 84th Brigade must not be overlooked. On 
December 17 the special board sent in its recommendation of 
nine names for the Medal of Honor. No. i on the list was Brig 
adier General Douglas MacArthur. 

It was a month later when the final report from Army Head 
quarters reached the Rainbow. It read: 

1. Recommendations for the award of the Medal of Honor to 
the following member of your Command are disapproved. 

Brigadier General Douglas MacArthur 
[2 additional names] 

2. The acts recited in these cases are judged not to meet the 
standard set for the award of the Medal of Honor. 

By command of General Pershing^ 

/. A. Ulio 
Adjutant General 

The members of the special board of awards for the division 
were shocked and embittered. Most of them had heard rumors 
of the enmity against General MacArthur that was said to have 
existed on the part of certain senior members of Pershing s 
G.H.Q. staff. To cross out the No. i name on its carefully se 
lected list, when each member of the division s board of awards 
personally knew of numerous incidents of his leadership 
"above and beyond the call of duty/ seemed to reflect such a 


feeling of personal hostility that the board presented a written 
protest. But it was of no avail. 

It was the second time that Douglas MacArthur had seemingly 
won and yet been denied his country s highest award for valor. 

April 11, 1919, saw the first shipload of men of the famed 
42nd pulling out from Brest. The last units left France on 
the i8th eighteen months to a day from the date of the de 
parture of the first convoy of the division from Hoboken. 

It was the end of the Rainbow. 


MacArthur was back in Washington but a few days when Gen 
eral Peyton C. March, Chief of Staff, sent for him. 

March, abrupt, incisive and highly intelligent, had, it will be 
remembered, served in the Philippines in 1899 as a sort of 
super-aide to General Arthur MacArthur. At a farewell dinner 
to his staff and his senior officers in Malacafian, Palace in June 
1901, General MacArthur, then military governor of the Is 
lands, singled out March and J. Franklin Bell as the two offi 
cers most likely to reach the top of their profession. In 1906 
Bell became Chief of Staff of the newly reorganized U. S. 
Army; and in 1918 Secretary of War Baker brought March 
back from France, where he had been Pershing s chief of artil 
lery, and made him Army Chief of Staff. 

On this May day in 1919 when MacArthur, a temporary 
brigadier general, reported to the Chief of Staff s office, Gen 
eral March told him that he would make him superintendent 
of West Point on condition that MacArthur approved of cer 
tain ideas that March wished to be carried out. When March at 

20 had entered West Point in 1883, he was already a gradu 
ate of Lafayette College, so that much of the military acad 
emy s scholastic work had not been difficult for him. 

"West Point is 40 years behind the times/ he bluntly told 

Then he went on to explain that because the war s demand 
for officers had reduced the 4-year course to a single year, much 
of the spirit of the fine, old Academy had been lost. A complete 
job of rehabilitation was necessary. The present outlook was 
that Congress would authorize a g-year course, and plans would 
have to be made with that goal in view. Among other changes 
March demanded that all physical hazing be stopped. 

MacArthur promptly answered that he would be very happy 
to take on the difficult assignment. March suggested that he 
consider Lt. Colonel Robert M, Danford, Field Artillery, for 
his commandant. Colonel Danford, who came from the tiny 
river town of New Boston, Illinois, on the Mississippi, had lit 
erally left the plow to enter West Point and an army career. 
He had graduated in 1904, and MacArthur remembered him 
well and favorably from the three years they had been fellow 

A talk with Danford proved to MacArthur that they saw eye 
to eye regarding the need of modernizing the Academy from 
top to bottom, including the abolishment of hazing. To reor 
ganize the scholastic side alone would be a long and hard fight 
that would bring out the opposition of certain high-ranking 
members of the permanent academic staff, as well as that of 
many older officers and certain elements in Congress. 

On June 12 MacArthur settled his mother in the comforta 
ble quarters at West Point that had been built almost a hun 
dred years before for Superintendent Thayer. During the war 
period Mrs. MacArthur had been living with her older son s 
family at the naval base in San Diego, and it would be pleasant 
for her to be mistress of this distinctive home. 

MacArthur s third annual report as superintendent con 
tains an accurate description of the problems he faced: 

When I assumed command on June 12, 1919, I found there 
two classes in the Academy, each of them under instruction less 


than a year. It is no exaggeration to describe conditions with 
respect to the course of training at that moment as chaotic. 

Orders had been issued to prepare the first of the two Fourth 
Classes for graduation in 1920, and the second in 1921. These 
orders were modified in May, 1919, by changing the curriculum 
to a three-year basis for graduation. 

But the Act making appropriations for the fiscal year ending 
July 30, 1921, was passed, carrying the provision that the course 
of instruction should be four years. Thus within a single year, 
preparation had to be made for three different courses of training 
preparatory for graduation at different periods. 

This uncertainty with respect to the curriculum was not the 
only reason for the chaotic conditions. The morale of the cadet 
body was low. Following the armistice, 24 cadets resigned from 
the Fourth Class A (entered in June, 1918) and 85 from the 
Fourth Class B (entered in November). The education qualifica 
tions for admission had been largely discarded in the case of 
cadets who entered in November, 1918, and 73 failed in the spring 

The traditional disciplinary system, so largely built around the 
prestige and influence of the upperclassmen, was impossible in a 
situation where there were no upperclassmen. Cadet officers had 
never known the example of cadet officers before them, and the 
body of the Corps had a most imperfect idea of the standards of 
bearing and conduct which have been characteristic of the cadet 
for over a century. The old West Point could not have been rec 
ognized in the institution as it appeared in June 1919. It had 
gone; it had to be replaced. 

We had the buildings and equipment for a great military in 
stitution; we had the traditions of the old West Point implanted 
in the character of its graduates; we had the experience of the 
World War to point the way; we had the assurance of loyal and 
devoted service from the fine corps of officers on duty here; and 
we had a point of departure in the legal establishment of a four- 
year course of study and training. Our problem was upon these 
foundations and with these guides and aids to build a new West 
Point which should continue the fine tradition of the old and 
should give the most thorough preparation of officer personnel 
for the next possible future war. 

All that first summer of 1919 the new superintendent sat 
with the Academic Board and thrashed out the scores of prob- 

lems that had to do with a complete redrafting and moderniz 
ing of the various courses. General March had not exaggerated 
when he had called West Point 40 years behind the times. 
At once MacArthur met considerable opposition from several 
older men on the faculty who looked upon him as only a bril 
liant upstart and outsider. For some weeks MacArthur quietly 
endured their constant opposition. One of the senior academic 
colonels especially irritated him by his sniping tactics of con 
tinued obstruction. At the opening of one particular session 
MacArthur had barely finished outlining a certain new idea 
when the obstreperous colonel jumped to his feet and began 
his objections. It was a little more than MacArthur could stand. 

"Sit down, sir!" he roared, "I m talking!" And then he gave 
his offending subordinate a dressing-down the like of which the 
Academic Board conference room had never before witnessed. 

A number of years later when MacArthur was Military Ad 
visor to the President of the Philippine Commonwealth, he 
outlined some of his original ideas in answer to a letter from a 
young captain who had just been appointed assistant professor 
in the English Department at West Point. Time apparently 
had little changed the fundamental conception he had initiated 
some years before. 

You were good enough to ask my opinion with reference to 
the objectives of the English Course at West Point. It is unques 
tionably to so train the cadet that he can clearly and fucidly 
present his basic thoughts and ideas. It is not the mission of the 
English Course to create or control those ideas, but it is its clear 
function to provide him with the medium through which he can 
present his views in an intelligent and even forcible manner. No 
man can hope to rise to distinction who cannot do this and no 
man, however humble his position, should fail to be able to do 
so. It is the very medium in which modern civilization lives. It is 
almost like the air you breathe. Without it a man may have the 
finest judgment in the world, he may be even wise as Solomon, 
and yet his influence will be practically negligible. 

The accomplishment of such a purpose is not confined to 
proper grammatical, rhetorical or phonetical grouping of words 
into sentences and paragraphs. There must be the logical con 
nection between the thought in a man s brain and the ability to 


present it in clear language. How to accomplish this is the de 
tailed duty of your new department. 

When I was Superintendent I outlined at much greater length 
than this letter what I expected to accomplish from the English 
Department and left the ways and means to that department. 
The success attained did not even approximate to what I had 
in mind and I have always felt that there was great room for 
ingenuity and constructive effort along those lines at West Point. 
In many ways I regard it as the most important department there 
and certainly if it could fulfill the objective I have named above, 
it would be beyond doubt the most useful. The pen is still 
mightier than the sword. 

The human side was only one factor in the many problems 
that MacArthur faced. He was determined to end the Acad 
emy s antiquated attitude toward the cadets and particularly 
the upperclassman. As swiftly as he could he laid down the rule 
that the cadets of the three top classes must be treated as re 
sponsible young men. He allowed them to smoke pipes and 
cigars in their rooms. If their scholastic grades were good, he 
permitted them week-end leaves, and permitted each cadet $5 a 
week from his pay and allowances. 

The chaplain at West Point at the time was a tall, slender, 
tolerant divine who had been a three-letter man at the Uni 
versity of the South, at Sewanee, Tenn., where he had gained 
the nickname of Buck; his family name was Wheat. He was 
chaplain, athlete and warm human being. 

The new superintendent found Buck Wheat and his high 
enthusiasm for various sports to his exact liking. When it came 
time for spring baseball practice and the chaplain showed what 
a superb first baseman he was, the General wanted to make 
him baseball coach. Wheat begged off in favor of an old-time 
professional, but he was- on hand every afternoon for practice. 

For a hundred years the Academy had followed a strict cus 
tom for Sunday observance. After compulsory chapel and noon 
dinner, cadets might gather quietly in one another s rooms or 
take walks, but they must play no games or in any possible 
xvay desecrate the Sabbath. Chaplain Wheat watched the boys 
wistfully looking out of their barracks windows or listlessly 

strolling about the post, and finally he went to the new super 
intendent and laid out his proposal: 

Why not permit the cadets to practice ball or tennis or golf 
on Sunday afternoon, even using the Plain for their quiet ex 
ercise? As chaplain he would gladly play with them, and thus 
soften any personal criticism of the cadets by religious funda 

MacArthur pushed back his chair and started walking up 
and down his office. It was a grand idea, he insisted. Get the 
cadets out of their rooms and into the air and under the blue 
sky. The better the day the better the deed. He approved 
100%. Go to it! 

Sure enough, letters of disapproval appeared in the New 
York papers and a number of complaints went to the War De 
partment, but neither the superintendent nor the chaplain 

MacArthur never lost his affection for Buck Wheat, who, 
after serving eight years as chaplain at West Point, became 
head of the English Department there and retired in the early 
4os as a full colonel in the Regular Army. For many years one 
of MacArthur s favorite stories had to do with the chaplain s 
prowess in various fields of sport. At the Academy there were 
several Officer Clubs that revolved around such diverse fields as 
tennis, golf and skeet shooting. At the close of the special sea 
son of each sport an informal gathering of the club members 
took place and the superintendent was asked in to award the 
silver cups. 

Toward the end of MacArthur s tour he was invited to at 
tend the last meeting of the Skeet Club, at which the champion 
ship shoot was to be held. In the final elimination only two 
officers and Chaplain Wheat were still in the running for the 
cup. Major Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr., class of 1908, and Cap 
tain Omar Bradley, class of 1915, each broke 24 out of a possi 
ble 25. Wheat tied the score, so that a shoot-off was necessary. 

Again Buckner and Bradley each broke 24 clay pigeons. 
Wheat, using an old double-barrel hammer gun that was prac 
tically a family heirloom, made a perfect score. It was a mag 
nificent display of nerve and perfect coordination. 


After the proper toasts were made General Mac Arthur 
stepped up to present the silver cup. His sly sense of humor 
and his magnetic personality were at their best. 

"Chaplain Wheat/ he began slowly, "sometime this fall I 
presented you with a cup as the champion golfer in the Officer 
Corps here at the Point. A little later I had the honor of 
handing you the championship cup as the best tennis player 
among the officers at the Academy. We were all proud of you 
and your records. 

"And today I am presenting you this silver cup for being the 
finest skeet shooter at West Point. But in all sincerity and as 
your true friend, I must warn you that you have now gone just 
a little too far. My brother officers here do not particularly 
mind your winning the championship cups in tennis and golf, 
bnt when you presume to win against the Army in a matter of 
shooting, which is its peculiar field, then, sir, I must tell you 
with complete frankness that you have gone just a little too 

The chaplain s only concern regarding the superintendent 
was that he never attended chapel, despite the fact that it was 
evident that MacArthur possessed a deep pool of religious mys 
ticism. Toward the end of his three-year tour, the superintend 
ent, however, was now and again prevailed upon to attend the 
beautiful chapel services, there to listen to the unforgettable 
organ music of Fritz Mayer and an inspiring talk by Chaplain 

One of the many MacArthur innovations was intramural ath 
letics, which required every cadet to take part in some inter- 
class sport. With this went a whole new conception of the need 
for more physical training. Another important change followed 
the order that most of the summer training of the upper classes 
should be done at Camp Dix or other camps where there were 
regular units of the Army. Quietly MacArthur put in requisi 
tions for every new type of army gun, weapon and transport, 
until he had at West Point the equipment for a full army bri 

Colonel Danford, the commandant, handled personally all of 
the direct contact with the cadets, but he and the superintend- 

ent always worked in harmony. They both were determined to 
wipe out the last vestiges of the old custom of exercising or 
physical hazing. As a cadet Colonel Danford had not been 
severely hazed, but MacArthur had not forgotten the unreason 
able cruelty of his own experience. Neither officer had associated 
himself with the hazing of plebes during his upperclass years, 
and they were equally determined now to tear out root and 
branch the unwarranted and sometimes brutal cadet tradition. 

Early in the academic term that began in September 1920, 
the Class of 1922 became involved in a rather weird chain of 
incidents. A certain obnoxious and unpopular cadet had been 
"braced" (made to stand at rigid attention) and harmlessly 
"crawled" by a third classman. He had immediately fled to the 
commandant s office with a sorry tale, in which he claimed that 
he had been so unnerved by hazing that he was failing in his 
academic courses. 

The upperclassman who had crawled him but not actually 
hazed him physically was given a heavy slug of punishment, 
and the squealing plebe was not dismissed for his scholastic 
failure. The Corps was bitter against the plebe for breaking 
the cadet code, and against the superintendent for permitting 
the plebe to remain at the Academy, despite the fact that his 
low grades called for his dismissal. 

The unfortunate cadet continued his refusal to conform and 
openly opposed the Corps. Finally in the summer of 1921, 
when two of the four classes were transported to Fort Dix, the 
resentment reached the boiling point. 

The first captain at the time was a superior cadet named 
George Olmsted, who stood No. 2 in scholastic rating in his 
class. Special care was taken by his classmates to see that Olm 
sted personally should have no part in or knowledge of the 
subsequent events. 

Late one night the First Class gathered in an unused com 
pany barracks at Camp Dix. There in complete darkness it was 
decided that a small and secret group chosen by the Corps 
Honor Committee should handle the case of the offending 
cadet. No names were spoken, so that if anyone present was 
called up on the carpet he could answer that he could not posi- 

tively identify any cadet who had a part in the proceedings. 
Likewise, great care was taken that First Captain Olmsted was 
not involved in any way. 

A purse of money was raised, and in the middle of the night 
the cadet to be railroaded was quietly taken from his barracks, 
hustled off to the nearest railroad station, given the money for 
expenses and a civilian suit and warned never again to show 
his face around the Corps. 

Shortly before this the commandant had left Fort Dix for 
West Point, so that he was at the Academy when MacArthur 
heard the news of the affair. The superintendent immediately 
called in Colonel Danford. 

"Get back to Dix as soon as you can and bust Olmsted," 
MacArthur ordered. 

Danford returned at once to the army camp outside Trenton 
and at mess call had the cadet adjutant read out the orders 
reducing Olmsted to the ranks and appointing Cadet Charles J. 
Barrett as first captain. 

On giving the seemingly harsh order MacArthur had been 
guided by the memories of his own sense of duty and responsi 
bility when he had been first captain. If some such unfortunate 
incident as this railroading had occurred during his time as 
first captain, he would have personally accepted the full respon 
sibility for any action the Corps might have taken, even though 
he had had no knowledge or part in it. He saw no reason why 
First Captain Olmsted should not do likewise. 

Late that following spring, shortly before the Class was due 
to graduate, MacArthur, touched by the manly and dignified 
way that Olmsted had accepted the unhappy situation, made 
him a cadet captain. The idea had first been suggested to the 
commandant by Olmsted s company tactical officer, and Colo 
nel Danford had passed it on to the superintendent. 

It was a gesture that the Corps fully appreciated. 

MacArthur s career was in friendly and generous hands in the 
War Department as long as Newton D. Baker was Secretary of 
War and General Peyton C. March was Chief of Staff. On Jan- 

uary 20, 1920, he was made a permanent brigadier general, the 
youngest in the Regular Army. Scores of older officers who had 
enjoyed temporary high rank during the war and were now re 
duced to their permanent grades were openly indignant. And 
many officers of his own generation found the former tempo 
rary stars on their shoulder straps replaced by the gold or sil 
ver leaves of a major or lieutenant colonel. Only Hugh A. 
Drum, of the many who were near MacArthur s age, was given 
the permanent rank of a general officer. One of the officers 
who had gained considerable reputation in the war and was 
now reduced to a major on Pershing s staff was George C. Mar 

When President Harding entered the White House on 
March 4, 1921, the atmosphere surrounding the War Depart 
ment at once changed notably as far as MacArthur was con 
cerned. John W. Weeks replaced Newton D. Baker as Secre 
tary of War, and John J. Pershing succeeded March as Chief 
of Staff. March was not even permitted to finish out his cus 
tomary four-year tour of duty. 

The old Chaumont crowd from France now held down many 
of the key desks in the War Department and General Staff. 
Some of them brought to their new jobs their old resentment 
against MacArthur, now aggravated by the fact that a number 
of them had lost their war grades and that MacArthur now 
ranked them. They had been G.H.Q. men in the war and were 
still Pershing men, and they were envious of the single star that 
MacArthur wore. 

But he had plenty to worry about in the great shift of West 
Point from a hide-bound military school disrupted by the war 
to a modern college. His own life continued to be as austere 
and restricted as it had been. Most of his evenings were spent 
alone in his study in the superintendent s rambling old house. 
He had started pretty much as a lone wolf, and as a lone wolf 
he would continue. 

In an outburst of confidence he once said to Colonel Danford, 
"When a man gets to be a general officer, he has no friends." 


MacArthur s routine at West Point was unique. He arrived at 
his office around 10:30 each morning. After clearing his desk of 
mail and such items as presented themselves, he took care of 
the appointments that were scheduled. Around 12:00 he went 
to his quarters, ate lunch and usually took a siesta. Then he 
returned to his office, finished off any work or appointments 
that were left over, and if it was the football or baseball sea 
son, he would hustle over to the athletic field and watch the 

While football captured his most intense interest, the fact 
that he had played on the West Point baseball team gave him a 
peculiar and abiding affection for that game. During the years 
immediately after the armistice the Academy suffered from a 
succession of poor baseball teams. For three years straight the 
Cadets had lost to the Midshipmen and when May 21, 1921, 
rolled around and the Army won 8 to 7 over the Navy, every 
West Pointer from the superintendent to the lowliest plebe felt 
a hilarious joy. 

That night during supper word quietly passed through the 
Corps that there would be a midnight shirt-tail parade despite 
the most stringent regulations against such action. Promptly at 
midnight the Corps gathered on the Plain, snake-danced past 
the superintendent s and commandant s quarters and on to the 
site of old Fort Clinton. Here guards were placed and while a 
great bonfire blazed, musical instruments miraculously ap 
peared, and a celebration exploded that could be heard for 
miles up and down the river. 

Major Charles Bonesteel was officer in charge that night, and 
when he discovered the cadet sentinels, he assured them that 
he was not making a report but simply wanted to join in the 
fun. So it was that instead of ordering the cadets to their bar 
racks and reporting the ringleaders, he took part in the celebra 
tion and along with the captain of the ball team made a 
rip-roaring victory speech. When the steam had blown off and 
dawn began to show, the cadets quietly returned to their 

Later that morning when the commandant dropped in at the 

Arthur greeted him with a broad grin. 

"Had quite a party last night, didn t you, John?" MacArthu; 
said, addressing the commandant by his cadet nickname. 

"Yes, sir/ Danford answered, not quite certain how thing 
would turn out. 

"How many did you skin, John?" 

"Not a damn one, General." 

MacArthur hit the desk with the heels of both hands 
"Good!" he pronounced. "You know, John, I could hardly 
keep from going out there myself." 

Now and again his driver would motor him to New York 
for some special dinner or theatre party. As he returned late one 
night from an evening in the city, and his car was slowl) 
making its way along the narrow, winding roads on the wesi 
bank of the Hudson, a man stepped out from a clump of 
woods and with a flashlight waved the automobile to a stop, 
Suddenly he drew a pistol and covered the driver and the Gen 

"Hand over your money!" he ordered, his flash half-blinding 
the two men in the car. 

"Hold up, huh?" MacArthur questioned. 

He was told to dig up his purse and get busy about it. Mac- 
Arthur was deliberate in his answer. 

"You don t get it as easy as that," he said calmly. "I ve got 
around $40 in my purse, but you ll have to whip me to get it. 
I m coming out of this car, and I ll fight you for it." 

The stick-up man waved his pistol and threatened to shoot. 
MacArthur shook his head. 

"Sure you can shoot me," he went on. "But if you do they ll 
run you down and you ll fry in the Big House down below. 
Put up that gun, and I ll come out and fight you fair and 
square for my purse." 

Almost as an afterthought he added: "My name is MacAr 
thur, and I live " 

The man let down the hammer of his gun. "My God! why 
didn t you tell me that in the first place! . . . Why, I was in 
the Rainbow. I was a sergeant in Wild Bill Donovan s outfit. 
Why, General, I m sorry. I apologize." 


MacArthur ordered his chauffeur to drive on. When he ar 
rived at West Point he made no effort to notify the State Po- 

Within General Pershing s office there were certain critical 
comments regarding MacArthur s tour at the Academy. In 
June 1922 he would have finished three years of duty. Ordi 
narily the assignment was considered a four-year detail, but 
there was nothing hard or fast about its tenure. It was discov 
ered that MacArthur stood No. i on the list of general officers 
who were due for foreign service. It was as good an excuse as 
any to relieve him and send him to Manila. In mid-January 
1922 the War Department made that official announcement. 
It kicked up more fuss than had been expected. There were 
Letters to the Editor in the New York papers, but the War 
Department settled all questions by its press release of January 

Brigadier General Fred W. Sladen, commanding Fort Sheridan, 
111., was today appointed Superintendent of West Point to relieve 
Brigadier General MacArthur on June 30. General MacArthur is 
assigned to the Philippines. 

But a new element now entered. January 14 The New 
York Times printed a dispatch from its Washington office an 
nouncing the engagement of Mrs. Louise Brooks and Brigadier 
General Douglas MacArthur. Mrs. Brooks was described as 
"the only daughter of Mrs. Edward Stotesbury by her first 
husband, the late Oliver Cromwell, of New York. She was 
formerly the wife of Walter D. Brooks, Jr., of Baltimore and 
Green Spring Valley, Maryland, and had been divorced in 
France in 1919." 

It had been a fast and exciting courtship. The two met at 
Tuxedo, the society resort west of the Point. Later at a dinner 
party at the superintendent s home the General s mother, too, 
was completely charmed by Mrs. Brooks. 

Louise Cromwell Brooks was then in her middle 30$, and 
MacArthur was 6 or 7 years her senior. She had social back- 

ground, a splendid zest for living, a son and daughter and a 
stepfather who was one of the richest men in America. And 
General MacArthur was certainly one of the prize bachelors of 
the time. 

Mrs. Brooks had lived in Paris much of the post-war years, 
and among all the young women of the American colony she 
had been one of the gayest and most sought after by the officers 
of the army set. Her name had been often linked with that of 
General Pershing, although actually it was the attractive Major 
John G. Quakemeyer, a bachelor officer on Pershing s staff, who 
was her most ardent suitor. 

And now in the furor caused by the announcement of the 
Brooks-MacArthur engagement and the order relieving Mac- 
Arthur of command at West Point, Pershing found that gossip 
was involving his name in the twin affair. Shortly after a 
critical Letter to the Editor, regarding MacArthur s relief as 
superintendent, was published in The New York Times., there 
appeared on page 3 of that newspaper a long story from its 
Washington office, under the head, Pershing Denies Exile Or 
der Rumor. It read: 

"It s all damn poppycock, without the slightest foundation and 
based on the idlest gossip." 

John J. Pershing, General of the Armies and Chief of the War 
Department General Staff, used these words tonight in character 
izing published rumors that he, as an unsuccessful suitor for the 
hand of Mrs. Cromwell Brooks, had "exiled" General MacArthur 
to the Philippines. 

"There is no ground for that story. It is all damn poppycock. 
... If I were married to all the ladies to whom gossip have en 
gaged me I would be a regular Brigham Young. General Mac- 
Arthur is being ordered to the Philippines because he stands at 
the top of the list of officers due for foreign service. He has been 
due for such service, as a matter of fact, for over a year. 

"I do not know whether General MacArthur has any intention 
of resigning from the army. I haven t had the slightest intimation 
to that effect from him. But I can say that I do not believe that 
General MacArthur would resign from the army merely because 
he was about to be ordered to a foreign post. I know General 
MacArthur well. He is one of the most splendid types of soldiers 
I have ever met. All this stuff is idle nonsense." 


The wedding was performed February 14, 19252, at El Mirasol, 
the Spanish villa of Mr. and Mrs, Stotesbury on Ocean Boule 
vard in Palm Beach. It was a fashionable affair and was duly 
reported in the society columns of all the leading journals of 
the country. 

The bridegroom was accompanied to Palm Beach by Chap 
lain Wheat, who was the only representative of the MacAr- 
thur family mentioned among the 200 who attended the wed 
ding and the subsequent reception. The absence of the General s 
mother was a matter of some comment. 


Life as a married man with two attractive step-children was 
possibly a bit more complicated for MacArthur than he had 
imagined it would be. His bride was witty, amusing and tal 
ented, but her background and her ambitions were quite dif 
ferent from her husband s. And no matter how much personal 
devotion there was between them, a clash of these two strong 
personalities was inevitable. 

Besides this, the importance of money assumed a dominance 
it had never before held in the mind of the stern soldier, who 
had been brought up in a certain gracious austerity. Much of 
his boyhood had been spent in army posts, where the MacAr- 
thurs necessarily lived with care and frugality on the small 
army pay of the period. Eventually his mother inherited $40,- 
ooo from her father s estate, and this had been cautiously hus 
banded. His father had little more than his regular pay and as 
a retired officer during the last three years of his life, his 
three-quarters base pay. 

It was early in October 1922 when their ship docked at 
Manila. Eighteen years had passed since he had last seen the 
Pearl of the Orient in the fall of 1904. It was good to be 

But the intervening years had brought changes. The Fili 
pinos had made great advances in home government, and the 
independence movement under the tireless and almost in 
spired leadership of Manuel Quez6n was growing stronger. 

Along with the growing desire of the Filipinos for complete 
political freedom and equal social status, a counter movement 
among the foreign business sections and in much of the Ameri 
can Army and Navy set was driving a dangerous wedge 
between the two racial groups. It was a conflict over the al 
ready outmoded British colonial idea of class and race superi 

Douglas MacArthur immediately felt the serious impact of 
what was happening. He knew what it had meant to the Is 
lands when his father had taken into his home the captured 
General Aguinaldo, head of the Insurrecto movement, and 
treated him as a brother officer and an equal. And now, 21 
years later, the son realized that a full awakening of pride and 
dignity of race must be part and parcel of the Philippine prep 
aration for ultimate independence. 

Time and again he went out of his way to show publicly his 
friendship and sense of complete social equality with Manuel 
Quez6n and other Philippine officials. The Quezons were guests 
of honor at dinner parties at the MacArthur home, and every 
effort was made to bridge the widening chasm. 

MacArthur was shocked to see the increasing acceptance by 
his American compatriots of a colonial theory that he knew was 
outmoded throughout the whole Far East. He was a complete 
realist in his study of the problem. Facts were facts: the age 
of exploitation and the old ideas of superiority of races were 
definitely coming to an end. 

From the moment of his arrival in Manila he had few illu 
sions about how he would be accepted by certain of the older 
army colonels and general officers, all his elders. He well un 
derstood the undercurrents of army envy and critical appraisal, 
and they no longer bothered him. He knew, too, that he had 


loyal friends at least in the two top American officials in the 
Islands; Major General Leonard Wood, the governor general, 
and Major General George W. Read, commanding general of 
the Department of the Philippines. 

When the news of MacArthur s relief from West Point and 
his assignment to the Philippine Department reached Manila, 
there was some concern at headquarters about what should 
be done with him. Major Robert C. Richardson, G-i on the 
staff, who handled personnel, and who had been three years 
with MacArthur at West Point, conceived the idea of having 
him assigned to the command of a somewhat superimposed 
and nebulous area to be designated the Military District of 

Richardson also arranged with the help of Manuel Quez6n, 
leader of the Independence movement and speaker of the 
House of Representatives, for the Philippine Constabulary to 
turn over to MacArthur its old headquarters building at Calle 
i Victoria for his residence. It was a beautiful soo-year-old 
structure with lovely gardens and vistas that sat atop the high 
stone wall surrounding the ancient inner city of Manila. The 
MacArthurs, at their own expense, renovated the charming and 
exotic place and moved in. It was called The House on the 

Within the year the War Department in Washington found 
out about MacArthur s special assignment to the rather fanci 
ful District of Manila, ordered it dissolved and sent him to 
command the brigade at Fort McKinley. MacArthur for 
tunately was permitted to remain in his unique home and com 
mute by motor car to Fort McKinley. 

In the middle of February 1923, a cable arrived from the 
General s sister-in-law, Mary McCulla MacArthur, that Mother 
MacArthur was desperately ill and that the physicians thought 
she had not long to live. Immediately plans were made to 
leave on the first ship. It sailed from Manila on February 
11, and the whole family, Louise and her young son and 
daughter accompanied MacArthur on the io,ooo-rnile journey 

For a number of years Mrs. Arthur MacArthur had been in 
more or less precarious health. The long and trying tours in 

the isolated frontier posts had left their mark on her. Early in 
the days when her son was superintendent at West Point, she 
had suffered from an attack of vertigo and had been confined 
for some time in the post hospital. One morning the post sur 
geon called at MacArthur s office and solemnly told him he 
thought his mother could not live more than a few days or 
weeks at the most. Her heart might play out at any moment. 

MacArthur thanked him, and that noon before lunch he 
walked over to the hospital. He was upset, but he believed that 
the surgeon s diagnosis was wrong. He felt that he knew his 
mother and the strength of her courageous spirit far better 
than the army doctor. 

Only once or twice in his life did he ever tell the story: 
"When I came into her room, I patted her on the back and ap 
peared highly elated. I told her that I had the finest news in 
the world for her; the doctor had just told me that she had a 
strong heart, and that she could leave the hospital anytime she 
wanted to. In less than a week I had her home with me, de 
spite the doctor s dire prophecies. Fifteen years later I was by 
her bedside when she died." 

But on the long trip back to San Francisco and across the 
continent to Washington, he had no assurance that he would 
get there in time. He made it, and the sight and touch of her 
son proved to be exactly what the mother needed. He was 
grateful all his life for the wonderful care his sister-in-law Mary 
poured out on his mother throughout the years when he could 
not be with her. And he was deeply appreciative, too, of the 
ceaseless interest of Dr. Howard J. Hutter, of the Army Medi 
cal Corps, who helped her professionally over the years from 
1922 until her death. 

Within a few weeks the General s mother was so improved 
that he and his family were able to start back to Manila. It was 
not long after his arrival when a cable announced the sudden 
death from appendicitis of his only brother, Arthur. From now 
on the devoted Mary would alone have to face the problem 
of caring for her family and of helping to look after Mother 
MacArthur as well. No one in the Navy had had a brighter 
future or was any more beloved by his men than Captain Arthur 
MacArthur. He had been an extraordinarily brilliant officer. 


About this time the General s West Point yearling roommate, 
Major George Cocheu, dropped*- in at his office at Fort 
McKinley and found him looking grimly at a sheet of paper 
oij his desk. He tossed it over to Cocheu. It was an order for 
MacArthur to undertake a complete survey and study of Ba- 
^taan and draw up a plan of defense for the mountainous and 
wooded peninsula that lay a scant three miles across the sea 
channel from Corregidor at the mouth of Manila Bay. 
, "Why, that s a job for a young engineer officer and not for 
a brigadier general," Cocheu indignantly remarked. "What are 
you going to do about it?" 

"Obey it, of course," MacArthur answered. "It s an order. 
What else can I do?" 

For weeks MacArthur and his party of surveyors and map 
makers covered every foot of the steaming, malaria-infected 
area. Some of it he remembered vividly from the days when as 
a second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers he had tramped 
over its trails and up and down its steep mountainous slopes 
and through its bamboo thickets. 

In September he received a cable from the War Department 
that he was to be made a major general on January 17, 1925. 
He would be closing his 44th year when he could pin the sec 
ond star on his shoulders. Rarely had so young a man gained 
such high honors in days of peace. The single senior peace-time 
rank that lay still ahead was that of Chief of Staff of the Army, 
which carried the four stars of a temporary full general. He 
still had 20 years of active service before his compulsory re 
tirement at 64. It seemed plenty of time in which to reach the 
final goal. 

In due time he assumed command of the 3rd Corps Area in 
Baltimore and he and his family settled down in his wife s 
country estate at Rainbow Hill, Eccleston, Maryland, within 
easy motoring distance of his office. Washington with its great 
dinners and social functions was less than two hours distant. 

This era was the fabulous period of the stock market boom* 
For the first time in his life MacArthur found himself knee- 

\leep in a social and financial whirl that was most difficult to 

MacArthur was caught in the vortex. But he could not 
silence the still small voice that pleaded for the austere and 
sacrificing life of a soldier, dedicated to his country. 



He had been in command at Baltimore and living in his coun 
try home only a few weeks when he was appointed to serve 
as a member of the military court-martial of the brilliant 
young air officer, Brigadier General William (Billy) Mitchell; 
There were 12 members of the court at the start, all major 
generals, and Colonel Blanton Winship was assigned to act as 
law member of the court. The case opened on October 28, 1925, 
in an old brick building at the foot of Capitol Hill in Washing 

His assignment as a member of this particular court was 
possibly the most distasteful order he had ever received. Billy 
Mitchell s grandfather had been a close friend of his own 
grandfather in Milwaukee. Mitchell s father had served as a 
brother officer with Douglas s father in the 24th Wisconsin Vol 
unteer Infantry during the Civil War until Lieutenant Mitchell 
had been forced to resign because of eye trouble. The two 
sons, Billy and Douglas, had become close friends in Milwau 
kee while Douglas awaited his entrance into West Point and 
Mitchell was standing by for his orders to Manila. Later each 
gained fame in the war in France. And now MacArthur must 
sit in judgment on his own companion in arms and old family 

At the opening session three of the members, including Ma 
jor General Charles P. Summerall, president of the court, 
were challenged by the defense and excused. The trial opened 
on Wednesday, and on the following Monday the prosecution 
rested its case on the assumption that it had proved that Gen 
eral Mitchell had made certain public statements that violated 
definite orders that he must cease his violent attacks on the 
lack of air preparedness and against certain army superiors. 


For four full weeks the defense now presented a string of 
witnesses who cleverly shifted the hearings completely away 
from the original case of Mitchell s insubordination. Instead, 
the War Department and the nation itself seemed to be on 
trial, with the army fliers as prosecutors. [Mac Arthur fol 
lowed much the same course a quarter-century later in the 
Senate Hearings that were concerned with his own relief frbm 
*, command in Korea: he and his friends brought the real issue to 
the front so that the ensuing testimony was broadened to in 
clude the entire Far Eastern strategy and policy. As in Mitch 
ell s case the effect on national thinking was a vital result.] 

As a matter of fact, this long Mitchell trial in 1927 
proved a lesson for MacArthur on future air warfare. For a 
solid month he listened to brilliant and imaginative young air 
men in both the Army and Navy state their case for the new 
weapon of the three-dimensional wars of the future. Over and 
over again these men of the skies pounded in Mitchell s thesis: 
"Neither armies nor navies can exist unless the air is controlled 
over them." 

Day after day as the trial dragged along Mrs. Billy Mitchell 
appeared in the courtroom arm in arm with Mrs. Douglas 
MacArthur. It was known that the families were devoted 
friends, and since he was a member of the court, this obvious 
intimacy of the two wives undoubtedly caused him some em 

Only a two-thirds vote was needed for a verdict at the end, 
and after a short recess the court found Mitchell guilty of the 
charges and sentenced him "to be suspended from rank, com 
mand and duty, with forfeiture of all pay and allowances, for 
five years." This severe sentence was later modified when the 
Secretary of War granted Mitchell half-pay and allowances. 

When the verdict was announced it was assumed by many 
that MacArthur had voted for conviction. Over the years that 
followed, certain of his more violent critics assailed him for his 
part in the persecution of Mitchell. 

Since members of any court-martial are sworn to secrecy, 
there was no proof how MacArthur or anyone else did vote. 
Certainly he was greatly in sympathy with the new concept of 
the important part the airplane must have in future wars, and 

of how strategy and tactics on the land and sea must develop 
in accordance with the new striking weapon. And so strongly 
was MacArthur opposed to gag rule of any kind that many 
intimate friends in later years were convinced that he could 
only have voted for Mitchell s acquittal. 

It was a part of his military philosophy then and later that 
an officer should not be gagged or silenced for being at vari 
ance with his superiors and with the accepted doctrines. In 
years to come this philosophy of an officer s freedom was to be 
come extremely important in his own life. 

Despite the social demands on his time, he managed to keep 
up a fair amount of his reading and study. He was keenly 
aware of the growing pressure of foreign ideologies that had 
begun to spread over the country in the guise of liberal ideas, 
His concern at the moment was the expanding pacifist move 
ment that was very definitely threatening a return of national 

He saw clearly that America was again on the easy road that 
led to danger and uncertainty, just as she had always been 
after each war in her history. He had known almost first-hand 
how deplorable was the lack of national defense following the 
Civil War, and on down through the miserable little war with 
Spain. He recalled as vividly as if he had been a part in it, how 
raw courage had valiantly tried to offset the inexcusable lack 
of preparedness in the fighting in Cuba and in the involved and 
desperate campaign in the Philippines. 

He had many long conversations with the new Chief of 
Staff, General Charles P. Summerall, about what might be 
done to awaken public interest to the fact that the Army had. 
once again been whittled down and starved until its effective 
ness was almost neutralized. Dwight F. Davis, Secretary of War, 
also was deeply concerned, and it was suggested that MacAr 
thur at a great dinner of the Soldiers and Sailors Club at the 
Ritz-Carlton in New York should make the principal address, 
pointing to the growing danger. Governor Al Smith was a co- 
sponsor of this serious attempt to awaken public opinion. 


MacArthur s gift for emotional oratory was now fully devel 
oped and there were few voices in America that could approach 
his lyric quality. There was a prophetic ring, as well, to the talk 
he delivered at this much-publicized dinner on April 6, 1927: 

With the Red menace in Russia, Poland in disorder, Roumania 
threatened with secession, France fighting in Morocco, Nicaragua 
in revolution, Mexico in confusion, and civil war in China, it 
does not seem unlikely that our streets will again be filled with 
marching men and our country again have need of our services. 

The provisions of our National Defense Act should be fully 
carried out. Total disarmament is unthinkable. No one would 
take seriously the equally illogical plan of disbanding our fire 
department, or disbanding our police department to stop crime. 

Our country insists upon respect for its rights, and gives due 
recognition to the rights of all others. But as long as humanity is 
governed by motives not in accord with Christianity, we are in 
danger of an attack directed by unworthy impulses. We should 
be prepared against brutal attack. Those who would not protect 
themselves should, as a matter of common decency, be willing to 
furnish the reasonable protection required by others. 

Our nation has shrunk from enforced military service. But be 
tween the two extremes has been evolved the conception of citizen 
soldiery. Upon the successful solution of this problem the citizen 
soldier will depend the very life of the nation. And when the 
bloody test comes some American chief on the day of victory is 
going to thank God for what the nation is now building up in 
its citizen soldiery. . . . 

But the entire nation seemed anesthetized by ignorance and 
inertia and oblivious to the stealthy infiltration of subversive 
conspiracy. He expounded his beliefs as often as he could, but 
there was no chance to turn them into anything bordering on 
a crusade. 

[In due time it became apparent that it was during this pe 
riod of the late 205 and early sjos that MacArthur won the 
bitter and enduring enmity of two powerful groups within the 
United States: the Communists and the Pacifists. The latter in 
cluded many internationalists and well-wishers who violently 
opposed his belief that national security depends on adequate 

Even during the seriousness of these days MacArthur s life 
was a varied one. He had never lost his keen interest in sports, 
and now and again he attended championship fights and World 
Series baseball games. In mid-September 1927, after the sud 
den death of the president of the American Olympic Commit 
tee, he was offered that difficult post and the active directorship 
of the Olympic team. The Army Chief of Staff agreed to 
place him on detached service, and the next June in Amster 
dam the American team won first place with 131 points, with 
Finland in second place with 62 points. 

The day after the victorious team returned to New York 
General Summerall addressed a letter to MacArthur: 

I can best voice what is universally recognized that you alone 
are responsible for cementing the bonds between disorganized 
and factional organizations, infusing a spirit and resolution and 
will to win in the contestants, and maintaining before the world 
the noblest ideals of American citizenship. You have not only 
maintained the reputation that Americans do not quit, but that 
Americans know how to win. 

With my own warm and deepest gratitude, 

Faithfully your friend, 
Charles P. Summerall 

"Americans do not quit" in this letter referred to an incident 
when the first boxing contest was decided against the American 
contender who seemed to have won over his South African op 
ponent. The manager of the American boxing team had im 
mediately withdrawn his men from further competition. But 
MacArthur ordered the team back into the contest, saying that 
Americans never quit. 

MacArthur on his return had two weeks to cross the conti 
nent and embark at Seattle for Manila. The Chief of Staff had 
directed that he proceed to the command of the -Department 
of the Philippines. He was now assured of a friend in the office 
of the Chief of Staff. He had ample time to pack and arrange his 
personal affairs. His wife and her children did not accompany 
him this time. 


Once again in the bright and lovely city o Manila, now with 
no family responsibilities, he could return to his old routine 
of aloofness to social demands and after the day s work turn 
undisturbed to his books and study. The magnetism of his per 
sonality was keen and alive, and the quiet austerity of his life 
in no way reflected any traits of an introvert. Almost invariably 
there was a frank and cheery good-feeling about him person 
ally that was infectious and stimulating. 

He immediately discovered that he was more in accord with 
the broad and tolerant attitude toward the Filipinos that 
guided Henry L. Stimson, then governor general, than he had 
been on his previous tour with that of Major General Leonard 

His return as commanding general of the Department within 
three short years after his previous tour of duty caused the 
usual comments and whisperings among some older and less 
fortunate officers. It did not in the least bother him. 

Soon after he had taken over command the adjutant general 
of the Department came to him with a thick-bound volume of 
mimeographed sheets and explained that the staff had gath 
ered a collection of all the precedents that had been estab 
lished by the various commanding generals so that MacArthur 
would know what to do no matter what the problem might be. 
"We thought you might be interested in having this/ the offi 
cer explained proudly. 

General MacArthur lifted the bulky volume. "It s a tremen 
dous job you have don/ he said. "How many copies of this 
are there?" 

"Exactly six, sir/ 1 the officer answered. 

MacArthur looked him straight in the eyes and there was no 
smile showing when he said:, "Well, you get all those six copies 
together and burn them every one of them. I ll not be bound 
by precedents. Any time a problem comes up, I ll make the de 
cision at once immediately." 

Long ago he had learned the art of quick decision. His mind 
was already so steeped in experience and military background 

that he had no need to hesitate or postpone his conclusions. He 
walked alone but with a sure and steady step. 

There is no record of MacArthur having met Manuel Que- 
z6n when he first came to the Islands in 1903, but during his 
second tour he had started a firm friendship with this leader 
of the Independence movement. On this return to Manila in 
1928, he and the Quez6n family renewed their warm friendship. 

MacArthur had no sympathy whatever with the line of racial 
cleavage that was now being drawn by large elements of the 
American military colony and the upper crust of foreign civil 
ians. He saw that it had increased to an alarming extent even 
during the few short years he had been back in the States, and 
he determined that he would show his opposition. 

Not long after he arrived on this tour of duty it came to his 
attention that on the three-decker boats that shuttled back and 
forth between Corregidor and Manila the top deck was re 
served for American officers and their families, and the lower 
decks were for American enlisted men and their families, and 
for enlisted and civilian Filipinos. 

The civilian engineer on Corregidor who knew most about 
the secret installations on the rock citadel was a Spanish sol 
dier who had gone over to the Americans in 1898. This engi 
neer could ride on the top deck himself, but his fine Filipino 
wife and children were relegated to the lower deck. When a 
U. S. colonel asked the provost marshal on Corregidor to cor 
rect this injustice, the officer told him that the regulations re 
garding boat decks could not be changed. 

When MacArthur heard of this he immediately sent for the 
coast artillery officer who commanded, Corregidor. 

"But the regulations are clear," the high-ranking officer ar 
gued, when the matter was laid before him. 

MacArthur blazed out at him: "You change them at once. 
Understand, at once!" 

Little stories like this, indicating MacArthur s fairness to 
ward the Filipinos, began to be repeated over the Islands. 

Quez6n had had much to do with picking Henry L. Stimson 
as governor general in 1927. Besides "racial sensitiveness/ as 
Stimson labelled it, an even more disturbing factor in the 

Philippine situation was the demand of American cordage, 
sugar and dairy interests that the duty-free entrance of Philip 
pine sugar and copra should be stopped, and that the Islands 
should quickly be granted full independence. 

With the coming of the Hoover administration on March 4, 
1929, Stimson was promoted to the cabinet position of Secre 
tary of State. The decision as to his successor in Manila was 
temporarily postponed by President Hoover. No position 
within the appointing power of the President was more sensi 
tive or explosive. Many commercial interests were in direct op 
position to American pledges and ideals. And in the Islands 
themselves Quez6n and other Filipino leaders were beginning 
to think that possibly they had gone a little too far and fast 
in their demands for immediate and full independence, and 
that they might better go along under the protecting wing of 
the United States as a commonwealth with free-trade privi 

Already Quez6n was turning to MacArthur for advice and 
help. The General s concern was primarily involved in defense 
and in the growing threat of Japan s expansion. It was not his 
province to be concerned with the time schedule of independ 
ence, but he was firm in his belief in the rightness of ultimate 
Philippine independence, with a strong and lasting tie-in with 
the United States. These Islands were his second home. Two 
generations of MacArthur soldiers had proven how deep was 
their affection for this lovely land. 

On June 17, 1929, a friendly reporter from a Manila paper 
brought MacArthur the yellow flimsy of an A. P. dispatch from 
Reno, Nevada. It read: 

Major General Douglas MacArthur was divorced here today 
by his wife, Mrs. Henrietta Louise MacArthur, on the grounds 
of failure to provide. 

Although the complaint charged failure to provide, and Mrs. 

MacArthur s testimony had only to do with the allegation, after 

she left the court room she said: "General MacArthur and I have 

divorced because we were wholly incompatible to one another. 


I have the greatest respect and admiration for him, and we part 
as friends." 

The Manila reporter said that his editor was perfectly 
willing to kill the story if it would offend the General. 

Tut it on the front page if you care to," he answered, giving 
no sign of his personal distaste. "It doesn t make the slightest 
difference to me." 

A month after the arrival of this dispatch from Reno, Mac- 
Arthur was handed a long decoded cable marked "Secret." It 
was marked "For MacArthur s eyes only": 

The President desires to appoint you as Chief of Engineers. He 
desires a reorganization of the Engineer Corps administration 
along broad lines to conform to the magnitude and diversity of 
its activities, greatly increased by the flood control and inland 
waterway projects. I have assured the Secretary of War and the 
President of your unswerving loyalty and cooperation in exe 
cuting his wishes. He is convinced of your organizing ability and 
professional qualifications. The President desires to know whether 
you are willing to accept the appointment. Keep this in strictest 
confidence. Reply in same code. 

Chief of Staff 

It was very difficult to turn down such a request coming from 
the President. But MacArthur knew that if he accepted the 
appointment, he would set a roadblock against his chances of 
ever being made Chief of Staff. Besides, he had long ago ceased 
thinking of himself as primarily an army engineer; he was a 
soldier of the Line. He had tasted field command and war, 
and they had given him a bitter-sweet memory that had be 
come a part of his life. 

Carefully but firmly he begged off from the assignment. The 
great Mississippi river floods had left the engineer-minded 
President Hoover deeply shaken, and MacArthur had been rec 
ommended to him as the general officer most competent to re 
organize and enlarge the Corps of Engineers. 

As the year 1929 drifted into 1930, the Far Eastern world 
like the European had dark patches of warning in the skies. 
Germany was about to rearm, Japan was plotting her further 


conquest of Manchuria and her intrusion into China proper. 
And America was wallowing in the slough of despair and inse 

MacArthur s tour of duty in Manila would be finished in 
October 1930. On July 7 he cabled the Adjutant General 
in Washington asking for assignment to the 2nd Corps Area 
in New York City, whenever that command became vacant. 
He wired: "I have never before made special application for 
station, and I earnestly solicit favorable consideration. The 
most impelling personal reasons dictate the request." 

In the same cable he requested permission to make a final 
inspection trip of China and Japan, and then return home on 
a commercial liner from Yokohama, without back-tracking to 
Manila. The following day a reply came granting him the 
travel permission and assuring him that his request for assign 
ment to the 2nd Corps Area would receive consideration. 

In Washington every conceivable kind of pressure was being 
brought to bear on President Hoover and Secretary of War 
Hurley by the political friends of a number of the senior 
major generals for the appointment to succeed Summer all 
as Chief of Staff. President Hoover was very clear in his mind 
on one thing: He held unequivocally that "the choice of Chief 
of Staff by seniority led only to dead ends." He considered 
vigorous young blood and an independent mind badly needed 
in this exacting office. And he was determined that the new 
Chief of Staff must not be tied in with the old army cliques. 

In all this reasoning he was completely supported by his able 
Secretary of War, Patrick J. Hurley, who had made a fine rec 
ord in the brilliant ycd Division in France. Hurley had long 
been impressed by the record and personality of MacArthmv 
and his favorable opinion was further strengthened by a cable 
gram from him that he received on May 22. It read as fol 

I have just read in the local papers your letter to Senator 
Bingham dealing with the Philippine problem, and I cannot re 
frain from expressing to you the unbounded admiration it has 
caused me. It is the most comprehensive and statesmanlike paper 
that has ever been presented with reference to this complex arid 
perplexing problem. At one stroke it has clarified issues which 

have perplexed and embarrassed statesmen for the last thirty 
years. If nothing else had ever been written upon the subject, 
your treatise would be complete and absolute. It leaves nothing 
to be said and has brought confidence and hope out of the morass 
of chaos and confusion which has existed in the minds of mil 
lions of people. It is the most statesmanlike utterance that has 
emanated from the American Government in many decades and 
renews in the hearts of many of us our confirmed faith in Amer 
ican principles and ideals. You have done a great and courageous 
piece of work and I am sure that the United States intends even 
greater things for you in the future. Please accept my heartiest 
congratulations not only for yourself personally but the great na 
tion to which we both belong. 

The Secretary s mind had already been made up as to his 
own choice of Chief of Staff when the President asked for the 
personal files of the two youngest major generals on the list 
of those who still had four years to serve before retirement. 
Mac Arthur was the youngest of the major generals who still 
had four years service ahead of them., and he was the senior 
of this particular group. The second youngest major general 
was Hugh A. Drum. After careful study the President agreed 
to accept Hurley s recommendation of Douglas MacArthur. 

Before any announcement of the decision had been made 
the Secretary of War "was summoned late one afternoon to the 
White House. When he entered the study he found General of 
the Armies John J, Pershing, who had just returned from a 
mission in France, in conference with the President. After the 
usual greetings the President quietly asked Hurley why he 
had not consulted Pershing regarding the appointment of a 
new Chief of Staff. It was evident to Hurley that Hoover wanted 
to be relieved from the pressure General Pershing was exer 

Hurley replied that Pershing was abroad at the time 
the decision was made. Then he promptly added: "But even if 
he had been here in Washington, I probably would not have 
consulted him* Mr. President/* 

In a frank and straightforward .manner the Secretary -ex 
plained that he had learned discipline and the chain of com 
mand from Pershing. He had never offered unasked mdvice 

to his seniors. He understood fully the responsibilities and the 
duties of a superior officer. He was now General Pershing s 
superior, and he probably would not have accepted General 
Pershing s unsolicited advice. This difficult decision regarding 
the appointment of a Chief of Staff was the Secretary of War s 
responsibility subject only to the final decision by the Presi 
dent, his single superior. If the President now wanted to 
change the appointment, he would gladly accept his orders. 

General Pershing rose to his feet and walking to the Secre 
tary s chair patted his shoulder. "Well, Mr. President/ he pro 
nounced with emotion, "he is one of my boys. I have nothing 
more to say." 

Later it became known that Pershing had strongly urged 
the President to appoint either Fox Conner, his chief of staff 
in the A.E.F., or Hanson E. Ely, who had served as command 
ing general of the 5th Division in France. 

On August 5, 1930, a radiogram from Major General Preston 
Brown, Acting Chief of Staff, was handed MacArthur in his 
office in Manila. It read: 

President has just announced your detail as Chief of Staff to 
succeed General Summerall. My heartiest congratulations. 

MacArthur was then a few days over 50 1/% years. It has been 
said that he was the youngest general officer ever to be ap 
pointed Chief of Staff. But in fact, J. Franklin Bell, who 
owed so much to Douglas MacArthur s father, had been made 
Chief of Staff in 1906 several months before he was 50; and 
Major General Leonard Wood was not 50 when he was chosen 
in 1910 as Chief of Staff by President Theodore Roosevelt. 

Certainly no other soldier, regardless of age, had ever 
brought to the high office the breadth of mind and background 
and grasp of world affairs that Douglas MacArthur possessed. 
For many years he had been deliberately preparing himself 
for this great task. The appointment was a surprise to him 
and his friends only because he was chosen at this particular 
time rather than 4 or even 8 years later. 

A tempest in the army teapot boiled up immediately. The 

New York Times let loose an editorial blast against the Presi 
dent s purported statement that "he is the only one of the 
Major Generals who has a sufficient period to serve in the 
army before retirement, to serve the full four-year term as Chief 
of Staff." The paper duly listed the names of ten other major 
generals who had at least four years more to serve, and added 
that there were only nine major generals who would have to go 
on the retired list before the next four years were ended. 

Three days later the War Department cleared up the mis 
understanding by explaining that what the President had really 
said was that MacArthur was "the senior ranking general" 
among those who could serve the full four-year term as Chief of 

But the storm blew itself out long before it reached the 
Philippines. Whoever plucked the plum would have to face the 
envy of many officers and their friends. 

Mac Arthur s orders to inspect army installations west of the 
Mississippi river and then assume office on November %* 
1930, automatically cancelled his contemplated trip to China, 
Manchuria, Korea and Japan. But his own Intelligence Sec 
tion, operating out of the Department headquarters in 
Manila, had kept him fairly well informed of Asiatic affairs. 
He was familiar with the stealthy Japanese intrusion into the 
mainland of China. Japan had been slowly building up her 
economic empire in Manchuria, and he was certain that in 
time she would find or create the necessary excuse for military 

He knew of the undercover activities of Colonel Doihara, an 
ambitious Japanese officer. He thought that the Tanaka Me 
morial, allegedly mapping Japan s future Asiatic advances, was 
substantially true, and he was familiar with Japan s Twenty- 
one Demands of World War I days. 

It was clear to him that the great decisions regarding the 
fate of Asia and the Western Pacific were still to be made. The 
shadow of an ambitious Red Russia in the vast reaches of East 
ern Siberia was slowly growing more ominous. Here in North 
eastern Asia was the Triangle-of-Destiny, where the fate of 
China, Russia and Japan might be decided and the future 
history of the whole world be written. 


Already Communist Russia had made great gains in under 
mining the inner citadels of its enemies. He was disturbed 
especially by the secret boring from within by Red termites, 
already working on the insecure pillars of the restless and 
awakening colonial lands of East Asia and even on the foun 
dations of his own America. In the Philippines he had followed 
closely the workings of Russian and Japanese secret agents. 
He was aware of the growing threat of the vast revolutionary 
social and political unrest in these lands and peoples of the 
Far East. 

He understood the manifold problems that lay ahead of him 
as Chief of Staff. The great depression was still on, and he knew 
that it would be hard to arouse Congress to the needs of even 
half-way preparedness. As a start he must first straighten out 
the definite injustices and inequalities in officer pay and pro 
motion and then take up the long fight to modernize the Army 

He welcomed the struggles and conflicts that he faced. He 
recognized no allegiance to anything or anyone save his coun 
try. Thoughts and dicta of his father were constantly in his 
mind. And he was aware, too, of how much he owed his 
mother. As an intimate member of the family explained 
many years later: "Somehow or other he had acquired through 
her the rare and subconscious gift of being able to tune into 
the great force that exists in the universe, and to draw from 
it an inner spirit and a sustaining power." 

It warmed his heart to know that he could once again take 
her under his protecting wing. She was now in her 78th year, 
and although he appreciated the endless sacrifices his sister-in- 
law, Mary McCulla MacArthur* had made in giving her a 
home and in caring for her, he felt that once she was installed 
with him in the Chief of Staffs quarters at Fort Myer, outside 
Washington, her health and spirits would show definite im 


The Fight for 



It was to a greatly changed America that MacArthur returned 
in the late fall of 1930, and he was now operating on a much 
higher and more exacting level of authority. 

All during the previous 27 years of his commissioned service 
he had been receiving orders and policy decisions made by 
others. Now he would make the over-all decisions and give the 

The great depression had been on for almost a year. Mil 
lions were jobless, confidence was shaken, and public morale 
was at the lowest it had been since the panic of 1892-3. 

A little over two weeks before MacArthur was sworn in as 
Chief of Staff, the Democrats had recaptured the Lower House 
of Congress and put an end to any chance the Hoover ad 
ministration might have had to work its way out of the eco 
nomic debacle. The opposition now set its sights on the presi 
dential election of 1932. Any hope of unity or cooperation 
between the parties was definitely over. 


Under the guise of the pressing need for economy in govern 
ment, certain leaders of the opposition began a frontal assault 
on the Army and Navy. Consciously or unconsciously they lent 
their support to an increasing number of pacifists who 
preached moral disarmament and America s role in leading 
the way toward permanent peace by stripping bare her own 
inadequate defenses. MacArthur sensed the very real danger. 
Yet to oppose the powerful group was to bring on the charge 
of being a militarist. He was certain that many of the pacifist 
leaders were innocent tools in the hands of radical and liberal 
groups and elements that were in many cases definitely Social 
ist and pro-Bolshevik. 

In the late spring of 1931, after he had been Chief of Staff 
six months, the problem seemed to reach a minor climax in a 
questionnaire circulated among some 53,000 Protestant clergy 
men by S. Parkes Cadman, Harry Emerson Fosdick, Daniel 
A. Poling and seven others through the auspices of The World 
Tomorrow, a powerful church weekly. One question on the 
list was: "Do you believe that the Churches of America should 
now go on record as refusing to sanction or support any future 

Of the 19,372 replies received, 12,076 (62%) expressed 
the opinion that the churches of America should not support 
any future war. 

Another question read: "Are you personally prepared to 
state that it is your present purpose not to sanction any future 
war or participate as an armed combatant?" To this 10,427 
or 54% answered that they would not sanction war nor partici 
pate in it. 

The result of the poll was published in the May 1931 issue 
of the magazine. The June issue was devoted almost entirely 
to a series of articles by notable pacifists then in America, 
including the German refugee Albert Einstein. In a more 
critical section appeared a long letter from MacArthur. 

My predominant feeling with reference to the majority of re 
plies received by your paper from 19,372 clergymen is that of 
surprise; surprise at the knowledge that so many of the clergymen 
of this country have placed themselves on record as repudiating in 
advance the constitutional obligations that will fall upon them 

equally with all other elements of our citizenship in supporting 
this country in case of need, 

To exercise privilege without assuming attending responsibility 
and obligation is to occupy a position of license, a position ap 
parently sought by men who do not avail themselves of the privi 
leges conferred by our democracy upon its citizens, but who, in 
effect, proclaim their willingness to see this nation perish rather 
than participate in its defense. 

The question of war and peace is one that rests, under our 
form of government, in Congress. In exercising this authority, 
Congress voices the will of the majority, whose right to rule is 
the cornerstone upon which our governmental edifice is built. 
Under the Constitution, its pronouncement on such a question 
is final, and is obligatory upon every citizen of the United States. 

That men who wear the cloth of the Church should openly 
defend repudiation of the laws of the land, with the necessary 
implications and ramifications arising from such a general atti 
tude toward our statutes, seems almost unbelievable. It will cer 
tainly hearten every potential or actual criminal and malefactor 
who either has or contemplates breaking some other law. . . . 

Perhaps the greatest privilege of our country, which indeed 
was the genius of its foundation, is religious freedom. Religious 
freedom, however, can exist only as long as government survives. 
To render our country helpless would invite destruction, not only 
of our political and economic freedoms, but also of our religious 
freedom. . . . 

Any organization which opposes the defense of the homeland 
and the principles hallowed by the blood of our ancestors* which 
sets up internationalism in the place of patriotism, which teaches 
the passive submission of right to the forces of the predatory 
strong, cannot prevail against the demonstrated staunchness of 
our position. . . . 

This was the beginning of the moral fight MacArthur waged 
during the years he remained in Washington. Almost exactly a 
year after his letter to the religious journal, he addressed 
the graduating class at the University of Pittsburgh. A small 
radical group had planned an anti-war demonstration and pro 
test against his appearance, and a number of students were 
actually engaged in starting a mass protest when police ap 
peared and arrested three students. MacArthur was able to de 
liver his address uninterrupted. He said in part: 


Pacifism and its bedfellow communism are all about us. In the 
theatre, newspaper and magazines, pulpits and lecture halls, 
schools and colleges, it hangs like a mist before the face of Amer 
ica, organizing the forces of unrest and undermining the morale 
of the working man. 

Day by day this canker eats deeper into the body politic. 

For the sentimentalism and emotionalism which have infested 
our country, we should substitute hard, common sense. Pacifist 
habits do not insure peace or immunity . . . 

It was June 9, 1932, when he spoke these prophetic words. 
The Bonus Marchers were already beginning to drift into 

A number of important matters occurred during the year be 
tween the MacArthur letter to The World Tomorrow and his 
speech at the University of Pittsburgh. One was the demand in 
certain Democratic circles in Congress that big cuts be made 
in both army and navy appropriations. 

But MacArthur entertained no such defeatist ideas. He 
proposed to keep the little Army intact and abreast of the best 
military thought in the world. It had been more than 1 2 years 
since he had returned from France and the first World War, 
and he felt the need to catch up with the latest military de 
velopments in Europe. On September 4, 1931, he and his 
energetic aide-de-camp, Captain T. J. Davis, sailed on the Le 
viathan to attend the annual maneuvers in France as the per 
sonal guest of General Maxime Weygand, Chief of Staff of the 
French Army. 

The exercises were in the Aisne Valley, adjoining the battle 
field of the Ourcq where MacArthur s Rainbow Division had 
suffered more than 5,000 casualties. 

At the close of the maneuvers a group of ranking officers 
were gathered in a knoll overlooking the rolling country near 
Rheims and Dormans. Dramatically the French Minister of 
War, M. Andr Maginot, strode out in front of the party. He 
stood six feet four. In a booming voice he asked General Mac- 
Arthur to step forward. With a flourish the War Minister made 
a touching little speech and hung the ribbon and medal of 

the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor around General Mac- 
Arthur s neck. 

MacArthur was on his way to Yugoslavia on September 18 
when the news arrived that the Japanese Army in Manchuri^i 
had engineered the Mukden incident and that a one-sided war 
was now on in the strategic lands north of the Great Wall of 
China. What he had so long feared had finally happened. He 
returned to America as soon as he could do so without arous 
ing too much speculation. 

He found that Secretary of State Stimson strongly favored 
imposing moral sanctions on Japan, but when President 
Hoover by long-distance telephone sought the approval of 
France and England and was flatly turned down, the Chief 
Executive argued that a one-nation boycott was tantamount to 
a declaration of war. 

As early as September 1924 a joint board of the Army and 
Navy had worked out War Plan Orange, a program for action 
in case of a war with Japan. In broad terms the Plan called 
for the Army to secure Manila Bay by holding strategic Cor- 
regidor and Bataan for four to six months, during which time 
it was hoped that the Navy would be able to send its fleet with 
a great train of transports and supply ships to the relief of 
the bay. Manila would then become a secure base of operations 
for the ultimate defeat of Japan. 

There was much opposition to the plan, particularly among 
certain army leaders who thought that the Philippines could 
not be defended, and that the sooner the United States 
withdrew all its military fordes and abandoned its installations, 
the better off the nation would be. 

In March 1934 Congress passed the Tydings-McDuffie Act, 
which guaranteed full independence to the Philippines in 
1946. General MacArthur s conclusion was that in case of 
war with Japan America s duty was clear-cut and inescapable; 
it was simply to carry out the pledges embodied in the 
Tydings-McDuffie Act, in which the United States accepted 
full responsibility for the defense of the Islands until they 
attained complete independence in 1946. 

In May 1935, while he was Chief of Staff, the joint Army and 
Navy board again revised the Orange Plan in order to bring it 


into line with the new Four-Army Plan and with the Navy s 
conception that in case of war the Pacific Fleet s westward ad 
vance across the Central Pacific would have to be by progres 
sive stages. 

Five years later when, as Quez6n s Military Advisor, Mac- 
Arthur was deeply concerned with the actuality of building a 
Filipino force to oppose Japanese aggression, he answered a 
letter from a brilliant young regular officer about his pessi 
mistic feeling regarding the Army War College he was then 
attending. It merits being quoted: 

I note a tone of disappointment almost of frustration in 
your critique of the War College Course. The more you become 
acquainted with the bureaucracy of our governmental depart 
ments the more pessimistic you will become. "Red tape," "Bu 
reaucracy/ 1 "Routine," "Laissez faire" whatever you wish to call 
it its deadening effect is felt by everyone who comes within the 
scope of its influence. The great figures that we produce are those 
who pay little attention to such matters and retain their own 
freedom of initiative when emergency arises. 

I recall my complete disagreement with the Orange Plan when 
I became Chief of Staff, but I realized at once that I would be 
wasting my time in trying to educate others to my own point of 
view. I, therefore, short-circuited by seeing the President person 
ally and telling him that if mobilization became necessary during 
my tenure of office my first step would be to send two divisions 
from the Atlantic coast to reinforce the Philippines; two divisions 
from the Gulf of Mexico to reinforce Panama, and two divisions 
from the Pacific coast to reinforce Hawaii, and that I intended to 
defend every inch of those possessions and defend them success 
fully. This being the case, the Orange Plan was a completely use 
less document. The President agreed with me entirely. 

I presume that the Orange Plan that you spoke of is still the 
same old plan that was antiquated even before my own tenure as 
Chief of Staff. Fortunately, the man who is in command at the 
time will be the man who will determine the main features of 
campaign. If he is a big man he will pay no more attention to the 
stereotyped plans that may be filed in the dusty pigeon holes of 
the War Department than their merit warrants. 

It was the aggressive soldier and the independent thinker 
who wrote these lines. Long before this he broke with prece- 

dent and all the debilitating checks that are put on courageous 
and original thinking. His mind was weighed down with no 
inhibitions or fears of failure or disapproval. 

Back at his desk in the War Department late in 1931 Mae- 
Arthur was struck by the almost complete lack of realism in 
the public s attitude toward the developing world crisis. The 
Japanese Army was running wild in Manchuria, and the situ 
ation in the Far East was so explosive that the United States 
might easily be drawn into war. 

Yet there was a definite and powerful group in the 
Democratic-controlled Congress, convening on December 7, 
1931, that was openly attacking the Army under the guise of 

MacArthur s position was most difficult. At the very moment 
when American armed forces should be enlarged to meet any 
sudden emergency, he had his back to the wall fighting to pro 
tect the little Army he had. The most he asked for at the start 
of the new Congressional session, when the purse strings were 
in the hands of the party opposing the Hoover administra 
tion, was a new promotion bill that would correct the worst of 
the injustices of the war hump. Every detail of his plan was 
assailed, and a bill was being considered that would reduce 
the officer corps from 12,000 to 10,000. 

In the midst of the argument the frightening news was 
cabled from Shanghai on January 28, 1932, that Japanese 
marines in the International Settlement had invaded the bor 
dering Chinese section of Chapei, and that a full scale war be 
tween Japan and China had begun. Thousands of Chinese ci 
vilians in Shanghai were killed by the naval bombardment 
and by gunfire from Japanese ground troops. 

At conferences of the joint Army and Navy board, plans 
were drawn up to meet as thoroughly as possible any of the 
numberless emergencies that might occur. Due to the very na 
ture of its task and composition, the Navy was constantly in 
a state of readiness. But not the Army: Its 12,255 regular 
officers and 124,301 enlisted men (including 6,000 native Fili- 

pino Scouts in federal service) were scattered in scores of 
posts in Luzon, Hawaii, Alaska and Panama and across the 
continental United States. 

All the winter and spring of 1932 on the home front Mac- 
Arthur fought the enemies of preparedness. Despite the peril 
ous situation in Asia, the number of regular troops within the 
continental United States available for combat duty was only 
slightly more than three times the number of men on the New 
York City police force. For the time being Representative Ross 
Collins of Mississippi and his followers centered their major 
demands for army economy on the dangerous proposition that 
2,000 officers must be cut from the list of 12,255. In quiet 
desperation MacArthur on May 10; 1932, wrote a letter to 
Minority Leader Snell that obviously was meant largely for 
publicity use. 

An army can live on short rations, it can be insufficiently 
clothed and housed, it can even be poorly armed and equipped, 
but in action it is doomed to destruction without the trained and 
adequate leadership of officers. 

An efficient and sufficient Corps of Officers means the difference 
between victory and defeat. 

But when the first vote was taken on the War Department 
Appropriation Bill providing for the reduction of 2,000 officers 
it was passed in the Lower House by a vote of 201 to 182. 

MacArthur fought back for almost two months, and on July 
12 a compromise bill to cut only 1,000 from the officer list 
failed to pass by a vote of 175 to 154. The entire Democratic 
Tammany delegation of New York City, led by Representative 
Thomas H. Cullen, voted against the bill. The Army was saved. 

In its issue of July 16, 1932, the powerful Army if Navy 
Journal said editorially: 

For seven long, dreary months General MacArthur fought the 
forces of destruction in the Congress. 

For four months prior to that time he struggled to prevent 

budget recommendations which threatened to hamstring the 

Service and to discourage the advocates of National Defense. The 

fight he made was not only for the Army, it was for the Navy 


and Marine Corps as well; for the pacifists conceived that the 
Army was the easiest arm to attack, and on its weakening they 
anticipated it would establish a precedent for a later assault on 
the sea Services. . . . 

Undoubtedly the Army has a conception of the gruelling labor 
involved, the tactful consideration displayed, the careful thought 
necessary to counter the moves made by no mean adversaries. 
Representative Collins, and his inspirational chiefs, Speaker Gar 
ner and Representative Byrnes, Chairman of the Appropriations 
Committee. But its conception fell far short of the facts. Willing 
to make concessions on travel, subsistence, comforts, Yes, said 
General MacArthur, but on man-power, No! 

Should the Democrats retain control of the House in the next 
Congress, Representative Collins doubtless will renew his officer 
cut demands. 

The Journal s prophecy proved to be correct on both vital 

The sore had been festering for more than six weeks. During 
June and July 1932 a group estimated at about 11,000 unem 
ployed, many of whom were not veterans at all, had gathered 
in Washington, in the hope of compelling Congress to vote 
immediately for a cash bonus to World War I veterans. 

Actually the movement was far deeper and more danger 
ous than a mere raid on the almost empty federal treasury; 
it was a well-conceived plot of the American Communist party, 
backed and instructed by Moscow, to bring about a bloody 
riot that would involve the U. S. Army and force it to fire on 
veterans. The hope then was that this action would lead the 
way to a revolutionary mood that might spread to other cities 
and eventually involve the entire country which was still suffer 
ing from unemployment and depression. There was the long 
chance that a real revolution might follow. This was in the 
nature of a dangerous trial balloon. Many of the innocent 
leaders had no inkling of the true motives of the Red organ 
izers who shortly took over actual direction in Washington. 

Newspapers dubbed the affair the "Bonus March," and toi 


days on end the press of the country carried stories o the 
threatening gangs that President Hoover was patiently trying 
to handle without resort to violence. He succeeded in obtain 
ing funds to buy tickets home for the legitimate veterans and 
their families. Some 6,000 left the city, but there still re 
mained a hard core of 5,000 irreconcilables. 

Assistant Attorney General Nugent Dodds had recently 
sent to the White House a report from the F.B.I. stating that 
fingerprints made of 4,334 Bonus Marchers by the Federal 
Bureau of Investigation showed that 1,069 of them nearly 
25% were of men who had criminal records ranging from 
murder and rape to such minor categories as drunkenness. 
There is ample evidence that the Communists had gained con 
trol before the day of the riot. The Chief of Staff and the 
Army were completely alerted to the grave dangers that ex 

On the morning of July 28, L. H. Richelderfer, president 
of the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia, in 
formed the President that about 50 of the malcontents were 
occupying several old buildings on Pennsylvania Avenue, and 
that their tenure interfered with certain government construc 
tion work going on. Treasury representatives asked the intrud 
ers to move out, but their answer was to bring in a mob of 
a thousand from outside camps. In the struggle with Wash 
ington police that morning a number of police officers were 
injured, one marcher was killed and a bystander was wounded. 
In all, 57 persons were seriously injured. 

The Police Commissioner appealed at once to the Board 
of Commissioners of the District of Columbia to ask the Presi 
dent to call out federal troops. Commissioner Richelderfer 
immediately addressed a message to the President asserting 
that it would "be impossible for the police department to 
maintain law and order except by the free use of firearms. 
. . . The presence of federal troops in small number will ob 
viate the seriousness of th f e situation, and it will result in far 
less violence and bloodshed." 

At cmce the President called in Secretary of War Hurley 
and directed him to take charge, cautioning him to prevent 
bloodshed but to restore law and order. At 2:55 that after- 

noon of July 28, Hurley formulated his orders and at the re 
quest of General MacArthur issued them in writing: 

To: General Douglas MacArthur, 
Chief of Staff, U. S. Army 

The President has just now informed me that the civil govern 
ment of the District of Columbia has reported to him that it is 
unable to maintain law and order in the District. 

You will have United States troops proceed immediately to the 
scene of disorder. Cooperate fully with the District of Columbia 
police force which is now in charge. Surround the affected area 
and clear it without delay. 

Turn over all prisoners to the civil authorities. 

In your orders insist that any women or children who may be 
in the affected area be accorded every consideration and kind 
ness. Use all humanity consistent with the due execution of the 

Patrick /. Hurley 
Secretary of War 

Six hundred soldiers from nearby units were standing by 
and ready for instant service. General MacArthur personally 
instructed Brigadier General Perry L. Miles, commanding the 
i6th Brigade, to carry out the orders. General Miles, in turn, 
passed on the detailed instructions to his unit commanders: 

We are acting on the order of the President of the United 
States. The cavalry will make a demonstration down Pennsylvania 
Avenue. The infantry will deploy in line of skirmishers in the 
rear of the cavalry. You will surround the area on Pennsylvania 
Avenue between Third and Fourth Streets, and evict the men in 
possession there. Use care and consideration toward all women 
and children who may be in the area. 

At this time Army Regulations prescribed that officers serving 
in the War Department and on the General Staff should wear 
civilian clothes save on special occasions. So grave did the situ 
ation appear to the Chief of Staff that at the last moment he 
decided to put on his uniform and take personal charge of the 
delicate operation. D wight D. Eisenhower, a major on his per 
sonal staff, accompanied him in uniform as a sort of special 
assistant. Another major, George S. Patton, commanded the 


squadron of the 3rd Cavalry that had been ordered over from 
Fort Myer. 

It was 4:30 in the afternoon when the Regulars began their 
march down Pennsylvania Avenue, the cavalry leading, fol 
lowed by six small tanks, a platoon of machine gunners and 
then the infantry a scant 600 all told. The brickbats of the 
Bonus Marchers were answered by tear gas, MacArthur him 
self getting a lungful. Several cavalrymen were knocked off 
their horses by bricks, but there was no lessening of the 
steady pressure of the soldiers though not one shot was fired 
by the troops. 

By 6:30 the two camps on Pennsylvania Avenue had been 
cleared, and 45 minutes later the camp of John Pace s radical 
group was set fire by the men themselves, and it was evacu 
ated shortly before the troops arrived. By 9:20 p.m. the sol 
diers reached Anacostia Flats and slowly pushed out the riot 
ers, who set fire to a number of their own huts. Not a single 
Bonus Marcher had been seriously injured. The definite show 
of force, the discipline of the troops involved and the plenti 
ful use of tear gas had turned the trick that had balked the 
Police Commissioner and caused the Board of Commissioners 
to call on the President for help. 

Somewhere between 10 and 11 o clock that night, after a per 
sonal report to the President, MacArthur returned to his office. 
Newspapermen were waiting for him, and the Secretary of 
War suggested he give out a statement. MacArthur explained 
that he had confined his operations to clearing the marchers 
out of government buildings and off government property. He 
believed that only i in 10 of the mob was a war veteran. He 
regarded the rest as insurrectionists. He continued: 

If President Hoover had not acted when he did he would have 
been faced^with a serious situation. Another week might have 
meant that the government was in peril. He [Hoover] had reached 
the end of an extraordinary patience and had gone to the very 
limit to avoid friction before using force. Had the President not 
acted when he did he would have been derelict in his duty. 

The following day police rounded up 36 of the leaders while 
they were holding a meeting in an abandoned church. Among 

the men arrested was James Ford, who was identified as the 
American Communist Party candidate for vice-president. An 
other of the prisoners was Emmanuel Levin of New York 
City, who was one of the recognized leaders of the Communist 
group in the bonus mobs. The Army quietly offered to fill 
up the gas tanks of the marchers cars, and with a hot meal 
from the army rolling kitchens most of the rioters headed for 

On the Sunday following the Bloody Thursday The New 
York Times carried on its front page this item regarding the 

The Communist Party, at its Headquarters here, accepted re 
sponsibility yesterday for the demonstration that resulted in the 
bonus-army riots in Washington. 

"We agitated for the bonus and led the demonstrations of the 
veterans in Washington," a spokesman for the party said at the 
headquarters at 50 East igth Street. "We stand ready to go to 
Washington again and fight for the working men. We started the 
march from here for Washington and we will lead the way again 
in December." 

Never before had General MacArthur faced such violent at 
tacks. With President Hoover he was called an enemy of 
the working man and of every unfortunate veteran. Mr. 
Hoover 20 years later reduced the political consequences of 
the action to a single paragraph in Vol. Ill of his memoirs: 

The Democratic leaders did not organize the Bonus March nor 
conduct the ensuing riots. But the Democratic organization seized 
upon the incident with great avidity. Many Democratic speakers 
in the campaign of 1932 implied that I had murdered veterans 
on the streets of Washington. . . . 

Even as late as 1949 Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt in her auto 
biography in McCall s Magazine rekindled the long-smolder 
ing hate and false accusations that had been heaped upon the 
men who had handled the dangerous situation. Writing in 
the July issue she said of the exciting period: 

The first march, which had taken place in Mr. Hoover s ad 
ministration, was still painfully fresh in everybody s mind. I shall 
never forget my feeling of horror when I realized that the Arn*> 


had actually been ordered to fire on the veterans. This one inci 
dent shows what fear can make people do. Mr. Hoover was a 
Quaker; and General MacArthur, his Chief of Staff, must have 
known how many veterans would resent the order and never for 
get it. He must have known too the effect it would have on public 
opinion. Yet they dared do nothing else in the face of a situation 
which frightened them. 

The completely erroneous charge that "the Army had actu 
ally been ordered to fire on the veterans" was fully an 
swered in the November 1949 McC all s by the former Secre 
tary of War, Patrick J. Hurley. But this reopening of old sores 
17 years after the event proved once again the force of the 
anger and resentment that had been engendered. 

MacArthur s name had been constantly associated with 
that of President Hoover s in the criticisms and reprisals that 
continued for years. The distortion of MacArthur s part in the 
singular affair was to become one of the myths that grew up 
around him. Even the later sworn testimony of certain ex- 
Ck>mmunists who had helped lead the demonstrations could 
never quite overtake the bitterness that had been fastened on 
the soldier. 

In 1948 Benjamin Gitlow, admitted former Communist, 
told of the Red plot in his book, The Whole of Their Lives. 
He wrote: 

On July 5 Earl Browder declared that the veterans were the 
shock troops of the unemployed. Said he, "The Bonus revolution 
ary force in Washington is the most significant beginning of 
the mass struggle against the deepening consequences of the 
crisis." . . . 

On July 28 the government went into action. General Douglas 
MacArthur, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, stepped in 
to prevent serious bloodshed after a fight between communist-led 
veterans and police resulted in the death of one veteran and the 
shooting of an innocent bystander. It was just what the Com 
munists wanted. It was what they had conspired to bring about. 
Now they could brand Hoover as a murderer of hungry unem 
ployed veterans. They could charge that the United States Army 
was Wall Street s tool with which to crush the unemployed, and 
that the government and the Congress of the United States were 
bloody Fascist butchers of unarmed American workers. 

A year later John T. Pace, another acknowledged former 
Communist, told his story before a Congressional committee. 
It would seem to clear up, once and for all, any doubts as to 
who were the real conspirators and what was the true nature 
of their plot. He testified: 

I feel responsible in part for this often-repeated lie about Presi 
dent Hoover and General MacArthur. . . . 

I led the left-wing or Communist section of the bonus march. 
I was ordered by my Red superiors to provoke riots. I was told to 
use every trick to bring about bloodshed in the hopes that Presi 
dent Hoover would be forced to call out the Army. The Com 
munists didn t care how many veterans were killed. I was told 
Moscow had ordered riots and bloodshed in the hopes that this 
might set off the revolution. My Communist bosses were jumping 
with joy on July 28 when the Washington police killed one vet 
eran. The Army was called out by President Hoover and didn t 
fire a shot or kill a man. General MacArthur put down a Moscow- 
directed revolution without bloodshed, and that s why the Com 
munists hate him even today. . . . 

The last sentence deserves careful re-reading. It was the be 
ginning of a definite and ceaseless campaign that set Mac- 
Arthur apart from all the other high army officers as a man 
to get, no matter how many years the Communists and their 
friends and admirers had to wait or what methods they might 
have to use. 

MacArthur returned from a second survey of European armies 
less than a month before the national elections of November 
1932 which resulted in the utter defeat of the Republican 
party. MacArthur realized that his immediate problem was to 
hold together his little Army and then to remodel and modern 
ize it, but he knew that he must face the increasingly bitter 
opposition of the Ross Collins faction and their Senatorial 
opposite numbers. He saw that now they would probably 
have behind them the pressure and power of the new occu 
pant of the White House. MacArthur did not have long to wait 
for the opening attack. 

Early in the year, during the lame duck session of the old 


Congress, he appeared before the military sub-committee of 
the Senate Appropriations Committee in opposition to the 
Convery-Taber amendment to the Economy Act, which pro 
posed to deny army retired pay to officers who were drawing 
incomes of f 10,000 or more from private employers. It was all 
a part of the drive to cut down officers pensions, a plea that 
had been bitterly debated in the Lower House. Ross Collins 
and his followers there were demanding that no officer s re 
tired pay be in excess of $2,400 a year. At the same time there 
were attacks on the law that granted General of the Armies 
John J. Pershing a special pension that totalled around $18,000 
a year. 

This latest attack was a little too much for MacArthur. He 
vigorously addressed the members of the Senate Appropri 
ations Committee, reminding them how the British Army re 
warded their General Douglas Haig, who occupied a position 
equivalent to General Pershing s in the American Army. Haig 
was promoted to field marshal and awarded a bonus of ap 
proximately half a million dollars in the form of a trust fund, 
the income of which was to accrue to his family through a 
period of three generations. In addition to this annual income 
of around $30,000, he received during his lifetime an annuity 
of $8,700 a year. 

General Pershing, then 72, was spending the winter in Ari 
zona. When word came to him of the fight that MacArthur 
was putting up, he wrote him a personal note in his own hand 

Tucson, Arizona 
Feb. 23, 1933 

General Douglas MacArthur, 

Washington^ D. C. 

Dear General: 

Please allow me to send to you my warmest congratulations 

upon the way you have succeeded in overcoming opposition in 

Congress to the Army. I think you have much to be thankful 

for, as we all have. 
And may I also express my appreciation for the way you have 

defended the Retired List and especially your reference to me. 

Yours cordially, 

John /. Pershing 

As a matter of fact Pershing was a little previous with his 
congratulations. Shortly after the inauguration of Franklin D. 
Roosevelt on March 4, 1933, Lewis Douglas, Director of the 
Budget, appeared in the role of the Army s chief opponent in 
money matters. Previously Douglas, as a Congressman from 
Arizona, had been one of the outstanding friends of the Army, 
and his sudden about-face was of deep concern to Lt. Colonel 
Irving J. Phillipson, the Chief of Staff s liaison officer with the 
Congress and the Budget Office. 

President Roosevelt s instructions to the Director of the 
Budget were to balance the budget. Douglas, being intimately 
familiar with Army costs, immediately turned to the Depart 
ment of the Army for most of his initial savings. 

During the last year of the Hoover administration a cut was 
made in the pay of all members of the armed services. The 
budget for the Army had already been brought down to what 
seemed an irreducible minimum when the new administra 
tion appeared with its drastic demands. 

On March 28 the Budget Director announced that the 
funds for the Regular Army and for service overhead for the 
fiscal year beginning July i, 1933, should be cut 51% as com 
pared to a normal annual appropriation; the National Guard 
expenditures reduced 25%; the Organized Reserves 33%; the 
Reserve Officers Training Corps 32%; the Citizens Military 
Training Corps 36%; with a 75% loss to the National Board for 
the Promotion of Rifle Practice. In addition he demanded of 
the War Department that the information regarding the re 
ductions should be kept secret. 

It was at this moment that Providence seemed to take a 
hand in the matter. On March 31 Congress authorized the es 
tablishment of a Civilian Conservation Corps, with the num 
ber of enlisted personnel initially fixed at 250,000 but soon 
after raised to 300,000. The Army was charged with receiving 
the applicants and organizing them into units which were to 
be turned over to the Departments of Interior or Agriculture 
for reforestation work and camp duty. 

Within ten days the President saw that only the Army 
could properly establish and administer the 1,450 camps that 
were authorized, and he dumped the job in MacArthur s lap. 


In an incredibly short time the Army was enrolling 8,500 CCC 
recruits daily, and pushing them through a three-week con 
ditioning course in which they received immunizing treat 
ments, clothing and equipment. They were organized into 
work companies of approximately 200 men each. 

Seven weeks after the Army s concentration depots opened, 
300,000 recruits had gone through the mill and some 1,315 
camps were functioning. Each camp was under the direction of 
two regular officers, one reserve officer and four enlisted men 
of one of the regular establishmens. A total of 3,109 officers of 
the Regular Army, 532 officers of the Regular Navy and Ma 
rine Corps, and 1,774 reserve officers were required for this 
special duty. 

But despite the extraordinary accomplishment of the serv 
ices there was no change in the critical attitude of the Di 
rector of the Budget or of the anti-defense members of Con 
gress. At the end of April 1933 MacArthur appeared before 
the House Military Affairs Committee to oppose a bill that 
would have placed a large number of regular officers on a 
forced furlough list and reduced their semi-retired pay by 
50% in addition to the previous 15% cut in the pay of all 
officers. The Chief of Staff pointed out that a second lieutenant 
furloughed under the bill would receive exactly $54 a month. 
It was the same old fight to cut back the Officer Corps, but under 
a new guise and dress. Patiently MacArthur restated his argu 

The foundation of our National Defense system is the Regular 
Army, and the foundation of the Regular Army is the officer. He 
is the soul of the system. If you have to cut everything out of the 
National Defense Act (of 1920) the last element should be the 
Officer Corps. If you had to discharge every soldier, if you had 
to do away with everything else, I would still professionally ad 
vise you to keep those 12,000 officers. They are the mainspring of 
the whole mechanism; each one of them would be worth a thou 
sand men at the beginning of a war. They are the only ones who 
can take this heterogeneous mass and make of it a homogeneous 
group. . . . 

Nevertheless, the anti-army drive in Congress went stead 
ily forward. It was a many-sided struggle. Behind the specious 


argument that the issue was primarily one of saving money, 
stood the hidden pressure of radical groups within the country 
who were determined to make America impotent by cutting 
away the underpinning of her national defense. Injecting itself 
into this dangerous project was an organized pacifist move 
ment, with the rank and file largely innocent of any real 
wrongdoing but, nevertheless, influenced by Communist dupes 
and sentimental busybodies. 

From the political angle, apart from the direct secret Red 
intrusion, it was evident to MacArthur that behind Congress 
and its demands for economy stood the Director of the Budget 
and behind him the President of the United States. To the 
General it seemed that the one hope now of saving the Army 
and particularly the Officer Corps and Reserves was a per 
sonal appeal to the White House. He immediately asked for 
an appointment with the President. 

Roosevelt received him cordially and congratulated him on 
the excellent work the Army was doing in establishing the 
CCC camps. MacArthur explained that without the full Officer 
Corps it could never have been accomplished. Yet, he went on, 
there was still a concerted action to cut back the officer list. He 
reviewed the dangerous situation that was developing in Ger 
many and Italy and the steady march of the Japanese in Man 
churia and China. It was unreasonable and might actually be 
fatal to weaken the national defenses at this particular time. 

The President, in turn, emphasized the need for the strict 
est economy and the necessity of trying to balance the budget, 
MacArthur agreed with the soundness of both items, but he 
protested that it was dangerous to force the military services 
to bear so much of the burden, while at the same time the new 
social services were being expanded without limit. 

But the President was obdurate. His conception of his almost 
unlimited authority became evident as he argued that his Chief 
of Staff must accept the decisions he had made. The cuts had 
been ordered, and they must stand. 

MacArthur argued that if they were carried out, the Army 
would definitely be forced below the level of national safety. 
The morale of the whole Army would suffer grievously and 
the actual defense. of the nation would be in peril. 


He insisted that he was in no way usurping civil authority. 
Congress rightly held the purse strings of all expenditures. 
But this was a matter of life or death for the armed forces and 
the country. It was the President s duty to throw his great in 
fluence on the side of national security. 

Sharp words were exchanged. MacArthur, who had prided 
himself all his life on his cool detachment in the face of con 
flict, now felt his self-control begin to weaken. He was 
conscious of the significance of the fight he was making. He 
could not retreat in his arguments or in his demands. He felt 
that his country s safety was at stake, and that if necessary 
he would sacrifice his own professional career. His sense of 
duty was clear and undeniable. 

The President demanded the right to run national affairs 
as he saw fit. He could not give in, nor could he brook this 
personal interference. 

The tension shortly reached the breaking point. Both men 
were emotionally exhausted, yet neither would compromise. 
Finally MacArthur played his last card. 

He rose to his feet, and his voice was cold and deliberate. 

"Mr. President," he said in effect, "if you pursue this policy, 
which will lead inevitably to the destruction of the American 
army, I have no other choice but to oppose you publicly. I 
shall ask for my immediate relief as Chief of Staff and for 
retirement from the Army, and I shall take this fight straight 
to the people/ 

It was a violent and unprecedented scene. Roosevelt was 
beside himself with anger. 

MacArthur saluted, turned on his heel and walked out of the 
room. He was so incensed and wrought up that he was physi 
cally ill on the White House lawn. 

As he drove back to Number i Quarters at Fort Myer, he 
was not at all sure but that the following day would see the 
end of his army career. For he meant to do exactly what he 
had threatened. 



President Roosevelt never referred to this bitter personal en 
counter. Instead, he quietly spread the word to drop the fight 
for some of the proposed Army cuts; that the need of more 
than 3,000 regular officers for special duty in the CCC camps 
made it inadvisable to reduce the Officer Corps at this time. 

MacArthur kept his victory strictly to himself. He realized 
that he still faced strong opposition in Congress and in the 
Bureau of the Budget, and in the New Deal experimenters 
who were gathering around the White House. 

As a matter of fact, his campaign for rebuilding the Army 
was only started. Within the year he began to move toward 
its attainment. Slowly he assumed the offensive, and one by 
one he presented his long-range plans to Congress. 

His first real triumph came when he succeeded in having 
the sum of $5,000,000 allocated to the maintenance of the Na 
tional Guard raised to $18,000,000. A second victory was an 
allotment of $10,000,000 from the Public Works Administra 
tion for partial motorization of the Field Artillery of both 
regular and the national guard regiments and for motorizing 
the field trains of the regular infantry divisions. 

The roadblock set against the Army had now been partially 
broken. But MacArthur had only a year left of his four-year 
tour of duty as Chief of Staff in which to push through his 
plans for a modern defense system. He might be able to make 

On June 13, 1933, he took time out to attend the 3Oth anni 
versary of his class at West Point, and to make the commence 
ment address. It was a wonderful day for him. He was talking 
to his own people and at the place he loved more than any 
other spot in the world. To the graduating class he said in 


Pacific habits do not insure peace nor immunity from national 
insult and aggression. Any nation that would keep its self-respect 
must keep alive its martial ardor and be prepared to defend it 
self. . . . 

The unabashed and unsound propaganda of the peace cranks 
leads to muddled thinking. 

As the necessity of national defense is sacrificed in the name of 
economy, the United States presents a tempting spectacle. . . . 

Every reasonable man knows that war is cruel and destructive, 
and yet very little of the fever of war will melt the veneer of our 

History has proved that nations once great, that neglected 
their national defense, are dust and ashes. Where are Rome and 
Carthage? Where Byzantium? Where Egypt, once so great a state? 

Where Korea, whose death cries were unheard by the world? 

Let us be prepared lest we, too, perish. 

His voice was hardly more than a whisper as he spoke these 
final words. Then the mood changed, and he was once again 
the old soldier pronouncing his blessings on his juniors. 

Good luck, my dear young comrades-in-arms; happy landings, 
and God be with you. 

The cadets and officers and their friends who heard the 
short address were never to forget his solemn and prophetic 

This day MacArthur was stirred by his ever-present convic 
tion of the dangers his country faced and how tragically 
unprepared she was. Nothing mattered to him but to awaken 
Congress and the citizenry to the true situation. He approached 
this great task with a devotion that had the quality of battle 
ardor and sacrifice. 

In a very real way he was thoroughly enjoying the job of 
Chief of Staff, with its wide authority and its vast responsibil 
ities. No previous Chief of Staff had possessed his peculiarly 
persuasive talents for winning over a critical Congressional 
Appropriations or Armed Services committee. In defending 
his requests, or in presenting new requisitions, his sincere 
and magnetic personality was utterly convincing in the im 
pression it gave of insight and fairness. He exuded a feeling of 

his own superb patriotism so that the things he asked tor ap 
peared in that light and consequently had to be granted. 

He had his own way o dealing with visiting Congressmen 
and those seeking favors. If the requests could be granted 
without harming the Army, he was inclined to give way to 
them. If they were unreasonable or impossible, he was able 
to make his refusal sound just and fair. 

Officers going off on special missions or to distant assign 
ments would often drop in at his office for possible last-min 
ute instructions. Following this custom, Major Truman Smith, 
who had just been appointed military attach^ at Berlin, re 
ported to General MacArthur. It was the first time they had 

MacArthur received him most cordially and asked a 
few questions regarding his highly important assignment to 
Germany at this moment when Hitler was embarking on his 
menacing rearmament program. At the end of the short in 
terview Smith rose to leave. 

"Just one little point," MacArthur concluded, his eyes twin 
kling. "Don t take the British too seriously. Remember that no 
one likes to sleep with a corpse." 

Certainly he had his own quiet sense of humor, and with the 
little crowd of officers who made up his official family he ex 
hibited a warm, human side that the general public seldom 
encountered. There was, for instance, the time that he and his 
aide, Captain T. J. Davis, travelled in civilian clothes, on a 
late afternoon train to New York. When the second call for 
dinner was announced, Davis sent the porter back to the 
dining-car steward with the request to let them know when a 
table was available. When the word came and they entered the 
car, the steward somehow mistook T.J. for MacArthur. With 
elaborate courtesy he addressed the aide as General and led 
him to the reserved table. MacArthur took the cue and showed 
marked deference to his subordinate, addressing him as Gen 
eral and sirring him at every opportunity. And when the meal 
was over, he complimented the steward, thanking him for tak 
ing such good care of "my General." 

His office hours were still of the same unusual pattern that 
he adopted when he became superintendent of West Point 


Often he would remain in his office until 7 or 8 in the evening, 
and it was not uncommon at the end of a busy day for his aide, 
Captain Davis, Lt. Colonel Phillipson and his special aide, 
Major Ike Eisenhower, and possibly the Deputy Chief of Staff, 
to remain behind while he walked up and down in his office 
relating old stories told him by his father, or dipping into the 
rich memories of his own experiences in France and the Far 

All during his life the lore and romantic details of the Army 
had seeped into his conscious and subconscious being. Fellow 
officers used to say that when he went to France in 1917 as 
chief of staff of the 42nd Infantry Division, he had already 
fought in two wars the Civil War and the Spanish-American 
War. Certainly he knew intimately every battle and every 
leader of the great civil conflict that ended almost fifteen 
years before he was born. 

And now in these early 19305 he was quietly preparing for 
what seemed to be the making of World War II. He spent 
most of his evenings poring over reports of American military 
attaches in foreign countries and studying the British and 
French military journals and the translations from service arti 
cles gleaned from publications of all the various European ar 
mies. Returning travelers who had found interesting details 
of foreign military matters were always welcome in his office. 

One afternoon Brigadier General Henry J. Reilly, of the old 
Rainbow Division, steered into the General s office a former 
war correspondent [the author] who had known MacArthur 
since his brilliant days in France. The visitor had just returned 
from a tour of Manchuria and Siberia, and rumors of a possible 
Russo-Japanese war were still making headlines. 

The correspondent, who had had considerable experience 
in various parts of Russia and Siberia during the early days of 
the Revolution, told what he had seen of troop movements 
and military activities in his latest visit to Siberia. He re 
ported on the possible strength of garrisons in Vladivostok 
and along the Manchurian border and in other Far Eastern 
cities and key points, but somehow it didn t quite seem to 
jell. In disgust at his own failure to give accurate figures and 
details, the visitor finally blurted out that at least there was 

one thing that he was sure of the morale o the Russian sol 

MacArthur pounded the table with his fist. "That s what I 
want to know!" he declared enthusiastically. "All this other 
makes no difference. It s the morale of the Red soldier I m in 
terested in. That s all that really counts. Go ahead!" 

For an hour and a half the correspondent poured out the 
facts he had learned first-hand when he had covered the 
U. S. North Russian and Siberian Expeditions from 1918 to 
1920, as well as the bitter revolutionary days in Moscow and 
Leningrad. He told of what he had learned on other trips, and 
on this latest study of Siberia. The Russian soldiers would 
fight, he swore. They were brave and ready to die if their 
country was invaded. And far more of them had been true 
converts to the Revolution than the outside world realized. 

It was strong medicine for the American Chief of Staff, 
but he instinctively understood that inherent in the young Red 
soldier there was a stubborn love of Mother Russia, and that 
he would fight for this native land regardless of the type of 
flag she flew. 

MacArthur, the realist, was not afraid to face new truths, 
no matter how harsh and distasteful they might be. His alert 
and far-seeing mind constantly searched for the things of the 
inner spirit, especially when they concerned the national 
dreams that help make up the imponderables of a country s 
military strength. He did not need to judge the merits of the 
Russian Revolution to understand the depth of the change that 
had taken place in millions of men there. 

And he believed fully in Napoleon s dictum that morale 
is to all other factors as four is to one. 

MacArthur was now well into his fourth year as head of the 
Army. He was making definite progress with his difficult and 
involved promotion bill and with other plans for the gen 
eral improvement of the service and its fighting ability. He 
was again a welcome visitor at the White House, and every 
now and again the President would ask him over for a quiet, 


confidential chat. Roosevelt seemed to enjoy the range and 
independence of the soldier s mind and viewpoint. Now and 
again they would discuss some phase of the Roosevelt social 
programs, and MacArthur made no effort to conceal his opposi 
tion to certain of the ideas that were being put forward by such 
radical New Dealers as Harry Hopkins, Harold Ickes and 
Aubrey Williams. 

What alarmed MacArthur was the definite turning away by 
the new administration from certain old concepts of strict con 
stitutional government, with more and more power being con 
centrated in the hands of the Chief Executive. MacArthur had 
been brought up a strict constitutionalist, and he was deeply 
concerned over the somewhat radical turn of affairs resulting 
from the growing power of the leftist New Dealers. He made 
little effort to hide his alarm from the President. 

Shortly before one of his informal meetings with the Presi 
dent, MacArthur had encountered a fresh outburst of ex 
treme opposition to his promotion bill. A subsequent White 
House interview drifted into the matter of growing expendi 
tures in the New Deal social program, and finally MacArthur 
spoke up rather sharply. He told the President that naturally 
he was honored the President should ask his opinion regard 
ing the reforms and various socialization proposals under con 
sideration, and he was flattered to find out that often Mr. 
Roosevelt accepted his views. 

"You seem willing to ask my advice about almost everything 
except military matters," he continued rather tersely. "Why 
is this, Mr. President?" 

The President, not the least disconcerted, replied after a 
pause, "Douglas, you are my American conscience." 

But matters were not always so pleasant and amiable be 
tween the two men. Early in February 1934 there was con 
siderable public comment on the graft revelations that had 
touched the commercial airplane lines carrying air mail. Sud 
denly and without consulting MacArthur, the President or 
dered that the air mail contracts be cancelled and that this 
highly specialized task be turned over to the Army Air Corps. 
American army planes were not equipped for night or blind 
flying. Nor were army pilots familiar with the mail routes. 

They had only one-way radio equipment, and from the very 
start of the assignment there were fatal accidents. So much 
criticism poured into the White House that within a month 
the President decided to rescind his order and return the 
mail contracts to the private firms under certain restrictions he 
would ask Congress to grant. 

In endorsing the proposed legislation the President wrote a 
letter to the Chairman of the House Post Office Committee in 
which he said that before he had cancelled the private air 
mail contracts he had received definite assurances from the 
General Staff that the Army could successfully carry the mails. 

At once John Callan O Laughlin, editor of the Army if Navy 
Journal, wrote out the details of a formal interview that he 
had had with ex-Senator Hiram Bingham, President of the 
National Aeronautical Society. Bingham demanded to know 
what army officer had given such assurances. Certainly, he in 
sisted, General MacArthur, Chief of the General Staff, had not 
given them. 

Immediately copies of the interview were handed out to 
various newspaper correspondents at the National Press Club, 
and one of them hurried to the White House with the damag 
ing information. Secretary of War Bern, General MacArthur 
and General Benjamin D. Foulois, head of the Air Corps, were 
all at the Secretary s office in the War Department when the 
President contacted Dern on the phone. After a few minutes 
of conversation Dern turned to MacArthur and said: "The 
President says you phoned him the assurance that the Air 
Corps could carry the mails before he issued the cancellation 

MacArthur emphatically denied he had done so and asked 
permission to speak to the President. 

"I m glad to talk with you, Douglas," the President began 
in his most disarming manner. "I ve been thinking about you 
and how well everything is going in the War Department. 
You remember you phoned me before I cancelled the air-mail 
contracts and said the Air Corps could carry the mails and 
would be glad to undertake it." 

MacArthur replied: "Mr. President, I dislike intensely say 
ing what I am going to say, but I never telephoned you. I 


knew nothing about your plan to have the Air Corps carry the 

"But you are mistaken, Douglas," replied the President. 
"You phoned me, as I have said." 

"No, Mr. President. The only time I saw you about the 
matter was yesterday, when you called General Foulois and me 
to the White House and gave us a spanking." 

"But Marvin Mclntyre [the President s Secretary] put your 
call through to me," Roosevelt insisted. 

"Will you put Mr. Mclntyre on the phone?" MacArthur re 
quested. Thereupon the President hung up the receiver. 

A few minutes later Mclntyre appeared at the War Depart 
ment, and hurried into the Chief of Staff s office. "General, 
don t you remember you phoned me, I connected you with 
the President, and you said the Air Corps could carry the 

MacArthur walked over to where Mclntyre was standing 
and glared down at him. His face was white with anger. "Do 
you mean to say," he demanded, "that I phoned you and asked 
to talk to the President and then gave him the assurance you 

Mclntyre wilted. "No, I suppose I m wrong," he replied. 
And then he added: "But Steve Early said you gave that mes 

"Where is Early? Bring him down here," MacArthur almost 
shouted, striding up and down the room in an effort to restrain 
his temper. 

"He is not available tonight," Mclntyre finally answered. 
He realized that the jig was up, and reluctantly added: "I m 
afraid what he actually said was that you would be a good 
sport and see that the mails were carried all right." 

Some time before this episode MacArthur had found himself 
in an embarrassing situation regarding Colonel George C. 
Marshall. Pershing had suggested to MacArthur that his 
former aide, who had done fine staff work in France, be made 
a brigadier general, MacArthur had only recently set up a 

special promotion board to recommend colonels for the grade 
of general officer, and he assured his old commander that he 
would immediately present Marshall s name to the board. 

Marshall, who had only recently reached the grade of full 
colonel, had been shifted from his post of assistant com 
mandant of the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, to 
the command of the fine 8th Infantry at Fort Moultrie near 
Charlestown, South Carolina. Most of his past military career 
had been spent not in command posts but as student or in 
structor in service schools or on staff duty or as special aide to 
General Pershing. He knew it was important now to balance 
his one-sided record by this particular tour of duty with troops. 

The 8th Infantry, which had long enjoyed an enviable rep 
utation as a top regiment, consisted at the moment of two 
separate battalions with only a single battalion and head 
quarters at Fort Moultrie. The situation was a bit difficult for 
maintaining esprit de corps, and Marshall s activities were 
further complicated by the added job of superintending the 
numerous CCC camps that were being opened in his area. 
This latter task seemed to appeal to Marshall, and he spent a 
large part of his time on the project. So noticeable was his 
ardor and success in the camp work that it came to the atten 
tion of certain high politicians and Brain Trusters in Washing 
ton who were involved in the whole Roosevelt social program. 
Certain friendly connections which resulted, and which seemed 
far-fetched at the time, were subsequently to prove of great 
value to Colonel Marshall. 

When he had been with his regiment less than a year, an 
Inspector General from Washington visited the post. His re 
sultant official report stated that the training program of the 
regiment was not satisfactory and that the entire outfit had 
seriously deteriorated under Colonel Marshall s command. The 
report arrived at the very moment he was being considered 
for promotion, and it destroyed any immediate chance Mar 
shall might have had of being chosen a brigadier general by 
the special promotion board. 

It so happened that about this same time Major General 
Roy Keene of the National Guard of Illinois came to Washing 
ton to talk over with the Chief of Staff the idea o a new 

senior instructor for the ggrd National Guard Division. Gen 
eral Keene was a powerful figure in Guard circles, and Mac- 
Arthur wanted to show him every courtesy. When Keene in 
sisted that he wanted a top man to work with the Illinois 
division, MacArthur told him that he could have the best 
officer in the Army. 

Calling in Major General Edward Croft, chief of infantry, 
MacArthur asked him who was the best colonel of infantry 
available for this type of special service. 

I d say George Marshall/* General Croft answered without 

"Send him to the Illinois Guard," Qeneral MacArthur 
promptly ordered. 

The assignment carried a handsome special pay allowance, 
and although Colonel Marshall would definitely have pre 
ferred to remain in command of regular troops, he had no 
alternative. Years later in her book of army memoirs entitled 
Together, Mrs. Marshall wrote feelingly of the Colonel s dis 
appointment regarding the orders, but added that later he 
grew to be genuinely fond of Chicago and his assignment 

As a matter of fact, it all worked out in favor of Marshall. 
He became a close friend of the Judge Advocate of the 3grd 
Division, Scott Lucas, who later became a United States Sen 
ator. As a member of the powerful Senate Armed Services 
Committee, Senator Lucas was able to be of inestimable value 
in helping to push forward George Marshall s career. 

In years to come there was much speculation why Mac- 
Arthur, despite the set-back due to the unfortunate adverse 
report by the Inspector General, had not later, and while he 
was still Chief of Staff, recommended Marshall to be made a 
general officer. The facts were that at this time the army was 
small and promotion was so slow that Marshall was almost at 
the bottom of the list of colonels. But MacArthur, with his 
shrewd knowledge of army affairs, might have wangled the 
promotion, if he had been deeply concerned which, obviously, 
he was not. [Three years later, when Malin Craig was Army 
Chief of Staff, Colonel Marshall was promoted to brigadier 
general of the line. It was army gossip that General Pershing 

had gone directly to the President and urged this action. On 
September i, 1939, Marshall was made Chief of Staff. Robert 
E. Sherwood, in his book, Roosevelt and Hopkins, contributes 
a very significant note regarding the high appointment, when 
he describes General Marshall as a man "for whom Hopkins 
had profound respect and whose appointment as Chief of 
Staff he had strongly recommended."] 

Just how much this MacArthur-Marshall episode had to do 
with later events may never be correctly appraised. It was only 
human that a number of officers, including Marshall, should 
have been envious of the rapid promotion and the fame that 
came to MacArthur during and after World War I. Many 
worthy officers in France failed to receive even the temporary 
promotions they deserved, because the orders to Pershing from 
Washington forbade additional promotions after the Armis 
tice. MacArthur, himself, had been recommended for two 
stars, and a large number of temporary colonels, among them 
George Marshall, were on the verge of being made temporary 
brigadier generals when the Armistice had intervened. Once 
back in the United States, all but a handful of specially favored 
officers were reduced to their normal permanent rank. This 
ruling forced Colonel Marshall back to his rank of major, 
where slow promotion under the strict seniority rule kept 
him for some time before he became a lieutenant colonel. Yet 
professionally he was one of the better known officers in the 
Army. The war had been over 13 years before he reached the 
rank of full colonel. 

Temporary Brigadier General MacArthur, however, had not 
been busted back to his permanent rank of lieutenant colonel 
in 1919, and in February 1920 during his first year as super 
intendent at West Point he had been made a permanent 
brigadier general. Five years later he was made a major gen 
eral, and at 50 was chosen Chief of Staff. It is easy to under 
stand how less fortunate men might nurse envy of this man of 
apparent destiny. 

So it was that MacArthur never could quite cope with the 
all-too-human criticism often levelled against him. No matter 
how generous and painstaking he was regarding rank and as 
signment, there was often no way he could balance the in- 


equalities and differences in rank. As Chief of Staff he was 
deeply concerned in doing everything he could to help in 
dividual officers, and there are innumerable stories told about 
his interest and regard for those under him and his eagerness 
to undo any injustice they may have suffered. One incident 
illustrates the nature of his personal concern. 

Toward the end of his second year as Chief of Staff, a young 
West Point graduate and his wife, detailed to foreign service, 
had become involved in a very silly and unfortunate episode 
which although of an entirely innocent nature had put them 
in an extremely unfortunate light. Through a curious chain of 
circumstances, the young lieutenant -had been tried on charges 
of "conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman," con 
victed and sentenced to be discharged from the service. 

A West Point classmate of the unhappy officer, then on duty 
in the United States, was appealed to, and he hurried to Wash 
ington and the War Department. It was his first visit, and in 
despair over the fate of his brother officer he approached Cap 
tain T. J. Davis, General MacArthur s aide, and blurted out 
the story of his unfortunate classmate. 

The sympathetic aide told him to calm down, that he would 
try to get him ten minutes with the Chief of Staff. The young 
officer was admitted to the General s office, made to feel at ease 
and asked to explain the nature of his visit. 

He was to stay ten minutes; he stayed over an hour. Mac- 
Arthur was appalled at the harshness of the court s verdict. 
He asked for the papers in the case and after studying them 
promptly disapproved the findings, declaring the evidence was 
insufficient to merit such severity, and he at once reinstated 
the officer. 

MacArthur had yet to succeed in his constructive plan for an 
effective Army. His Third Annual Report carried the final out 
lines for this Four-Army Plan, bringing the 9 corps areas into 
four great tactical armies, each with its own field army organi 
zation set up in skeleton form, and each commanded by the 
senior corps commander in that particular army territory. 

Each of the four army commanders was to organize the frame 
work for an actual field army staff that could be expanded 
immediately in case of an emergency. 

With this Four-Army Plan went a G.H.Q. Air Force, 
that comprised an actual striking air force of 1,000 planes 
or more under the direct responsibility and command of the 
Chief of Staff. No senior officer in the United States Army had 
previously so fully appreciated the enormous striking potential 
of airplanes or shown the courage and imagination to un 
shackle them from ground commanders. America was now on 
the road that led toward at least some degree of national 

Time was running out for MacArthur, for his term as Chief 
of Staff would end November 21, 1934. But on November 14 
the President announced at a press conference that MacArthur 
would be continued as Chief of Staff for an indefinite period, 
and later Roosevelt directed Secretary of War Dem to keep 
MacArthur on until the War Department had completed its 
legislative program with the coming Congress. It seems that 
Pershing had personally recommended this move to the Presi 

MacArthur dramatically put forth his final requests. The 
Public Works Administration had already allotted $90,000,000 
to the Army, with 154,000,000 earmarked for an army con 
struction program. MacArthur now asked for $405,000,000 for 
new army housing, mechanization and motorization, anti-air 
craft equipment and aircraft and modernization of field artil 
lery. He pointed out that the enlisted strength of the regular 
army must be increased to 165,000 men, the Officers Reserve 
Corps strengthened and the National Guard enlarged. In addi 
tion, he requested that the number of cadets at West Point 
be increased from 1,371 to 1,960. 

Long before this he had suggested that the boys in the 
hundreds of CCC camps be given some army training and dis 
cipline. But the radical planners around the White House 
quickly squelched this idea. The fact that the CCC boys were 
receiving $30 a month, while the pay of the soldiers of the 
Regular Army was $21 monthly, did not strike them as at all 


A$ late as February 20, 1935, Mac Arthur made a new pro 
posal to the House Military Affairs Committee regarding a 
small amount of army training in the camps: 

I think there would be nothing finer than that the men in the 
CCC camps should be used as a nucleus for an Enlisted Reserve. 

I think no method could be sounder than to take these CCG 
men who have had six months in camp and give them perhaps 
two months more, in which they would receive military training. 
We could enroll them in the Enlisted Reserve for a certain num 
ber of years, with, perhaps a small stipend say one dollar a 

If he had been guilty of a crime against his country, Mac- 
Arthur could not have brought down on his head more bitter 
criticism from the pacifist-minded advisors of the President. 

Early in March 1935 MacArthur was forced to take another 
definite stand against the President. This time it was in direct 
opposition to the expanding powers of the Chief Executive. 

In the $375,000,000 Army Appropriations Bill presented to 
the Senate Appropriations Committee was a promise that the 
enlisted strength of the Regular Army would be increased from 
1 18,000 men to a maximum of 165,000, but it was provided that 
the President should have absolute control over the size of the 
Army. MacArthur whose passion had long been the Constitu 
tion immediately addressed the Congressional committee on 
this vital precedent: 

It has never been done before in the history of our country. 

We have the most complete confidence the President would im 
mediately order the increase, but this places a burden upon the 
Executive Branch. 

Army strength questions have always been decided by Congress. 
If Congress should leave such an authority to the President, we 
should have to go before him and in effect have these hearings 
all over again. 

The President, splendid soldier as he is, and understanding 
the problems of National defense as he does, cannot be expected 
to make decisions which have not only involved the professional 
thought of the Army for years, but have engaged the attention 
of the Congressional Committees for weeks and months at a time. 

If you multiply such instances and continue to load on the 

President the technical details, jiot only of the War Department 
but of other departments^ you are going to break down the Gov 

It was a smooth and politic way of presenting his violent 
objections. It seems certain that he was prepared to go to any 
limit in opposing the measure that would have advanced im 
measurably the growing concentration of power in the hands 
of the President. Fortunately the committee was won over, 
and the raid was checked. 

There were no reprisals from the White House. MacArthur 
apparently was to be kept on until the end of his fifth year. On 
September 7, the day before Secretary of War Dern left for 
Manila to witness the inauguration of the Philippine Common 
wealth, Dern called MacArthur into his office and in a surprise 
ceremony pinned an Oak Leaf cluster on his Distinguished 
Service Medal. At the same time Dern made the formal an 
nouncement that he would make no recommendation regard 
ing MacArthur s successor until he returned from Manila in 
mid-December 1935. 

During MacArthur s last two tours of duty in the Islands 
he and Manuel Quezon, then speaker of the House of Repre 
sentatives and leader of the independence movement, had 
often discussed the problem of Philippine security. In the 
summer of 1935, while Quezon was in Washington arrang 
ing for the formal establishment of the Commonwealth, he 
suddenly appeared in the Chief of Staff s office. Bluntly he asked 
MacArthur if he thought the Islands could defend themselves 
once they gained their full independence in 1946. 

"I don t only think they can be defended," MacArthur an 
swered; "I know they can/ 

Quez6n immediately asked if he would be willing to come 
to the Philippines and act as military advisor during the com 
ing six years of his presidency. MacArthur agreed, if Quezon 
could secure the approval of the Secretary of War and the Presi 

MacArthur still had almost 9 years of active army service in 
front of him, but to accept a subordinate assignment in the 
Army after being Chief of Staff would be difficult. The Quezon 


proposal seemed to offer an ideal solution to the problem of 
his own professional career if it could be so arranged with his 
two superiors. Half the battle already was won, thanks to a 
law recently passed by Congress authorizing the detailing of 
Army and Navy officers for special duty with certain foreign 
powers, which later included service in the new Common 

Quez6n had no difficulty gaining the full approval of both 
the Secretary of War and the President. The formal press re 
lease regarding the appointment, however, was held up until 
the news of Quez6n s actual election as President of the Com 
monwealth government, which occurred the day before Sec 
retary Bern s departure for Manila. Mac Arthur would leave 
Washington September 30. The press release concluded with 
the positive statement that he would not be relieved as Chief 
of Staff until December 15. 

This would give him a little more than a month after his 
arrival in Manila to lay out his detailed plans, which included 
the utilization of U. S. Army forces of the Department of the 
Philippines in the training and equipping of the native 
draftees. His objective was the ultimate use of the Islands 
forces as an integral part of a great Philippine defensive system 
to be built during the ten years before 1946, when full inde 
pendence would come. It was a matter of major importance to 
MacArthur that for a full month he would possess all the au 
thority of Chief of Staff to project his ideas without obstruction 
or delay. 

A formal but confidential letter was sent to MacArthur by 
the Adjutant General giving a secret special ruling that he 
was to be permitted to remain undisturbed on the assignment 
for a six-year period. It seemed that every possibility of error 
or slip-up had now been covered. 

Two weeks before he was to leave Washington, MacArthur 
was invited to Hyde Park for a private luncheon with the 
President. When the two were alone, Roosevelt explained that 
the Governor General of the Philippines, Frank Murphy, was 
not interested in becoming first high commissioner to the Com 
monwealth government. Would Douglas be interested in hav 
ing the important post? 

MacArthur replied that he was deeply honored, but he could 
not leave the Army. He had pledged Quez6n that he would 
help him build his defense system, and he could hardly go back 
on this solemn promise. 

"Maybe you could do both/ the President suggested. 

MacArthur answered that if it could be arranged so that he 
could still remain in the Army and advise Quezon, he d be 
proud to be the first high commissioner to the Philippines. 

The President told him to get a special ruling from the 
judge advocate whether he could fill the two appointments. 
As soon as MacArthur returned to Washington, he put the 
matter in the judge advocate s hands. A day or two later he 
received the verdict: It was illegal for an officer to hold two 
government positions at the same time. 

MacArthur immediately wrote a personal note to the Presi 
dent and gave him the negative decision. A little later Frank 
Murphy, hearing that MacArthur had been approached by the 
President, changed his mind and agreed to accept the post of 
high commissioner. 

During the years MacArthur had served as Chief of Staff his 
mother had lived with him in the Number i Quarters at Fort 
Myer, across the Potomac in Virginia. Her health had steadily 
declined to such an extent that she had been able to act as 
hostess at only one or two of the few official dinners the Gen 
eral had been obliged to give. His widowed sister-in-law, Mary 
McCulla MacArthur, had not only graciously taken his 
mother s place but throughout these five years had spent a 
great deal of time in helping to care for her. The General had 
removed himself from all personal contact with social Wash 
ington, save only for the half-dozen official dinners and recep 
tions that his position required him to attend each year. 

From the very beginning of his discussions with Quezon, 
the General had made one stipulation concerning his appoint 
ment to Manila; he would accept the proposal only if his 
mother were well enough to go with him. 

When he tentatively brought up the subject with her, Mrs. 


MacArthur insisted that the sea voyage and the bright warm 
days in Manila would do her good. Mary was appealed to, 
and she agreed to accompany them. Whatever happened, the 
mother insisted, Douglas must not be deprived of this golden 
opportunity to do a great and lasting thing for his country 
and for himself. 

* The General called in Major Howard Hutter o the Army 
Medical Corps, who had long been a devoted physician to Mrs. 
MacArthur. The doctor described fully to him the exact con 
dition of his 8 g-year-old mother. She was suffering from a 
chronic heart trouble, and there was absolutely nothing medi 
cally that could be done for her. The journey to Manila would 
make no change in her general condition, and life could be as 
gentle for her there as anywhere else. He had no professional 
objections to her going. 

The last obstacle had now been removed. The General 
thanked him and then explained the great work that could be 
accomplished by the mission. Would Major Hutter come along 
as general medical advisor in such matters as passing on the 
sanitary side of the training camps and the health of the re 
cruits in the new Philippine Army? The doctor, devoted as he 
was to the General s mother, and thrilled by the prospects of 
the imaginative and important work ahead, promptly accepted. 

So it was that final plans were concluded for the great under 
taking. With MacArthur would go a small official staff, con 
sisting of Majors D wight D. Eisenhower and James Ord, both 
of the West Point Class of 1915, Dr. Howard Hutter, the per 
sonal aide Captain T. J. Davis and one or two enlisted clerks. 

Major Eisenhower would be chief of staff of the military 
mission, with Major Ord as his deputy. Eisenhower had just 
turned 45 and though he had not seen active service in France 
in the World War, he had won for himself a place as one of 
the outstanding younger army officers. Major General Fox 
Conner, G-g of the A.E.F., who furnished much of the driving 
power of Pershing s war machine, had taken a great interest 
in Eisenhower when the latter had served under him in the 
Canal Zone. Somewhere along the line Ike had acquired a 
canny and unique ability; he was graduated at the top of his 
class in the gruelling two-year course at the Command and 

General Staff School in Leavenworth; he had served under 
Pershing in post-war France and prepared a commendable 
brochure on the American Battle Monuments; his talent for 
writing speeches and reports had brought him the post of 
special aide to the assistant secretary of war; and he had added 
to his general qualifications by attending the Industrial War 

MacArthur had brought him into the Chief of Staff s office 
late in 1932, and here he had quickly made himself all but 
indispensable. He had the rare faculty of being able to put 
down on paper the exact shade of meaning that his superior 
desired. "Ike got so he could write more like MacArthur 
talked than the General did himself/ was the way one officer 
who served on the General Staff at the time explained it. His 
mind was sharp and keen, and he had been perfectly trained 
in staff work. He was to serve seven years in the closest contact 
with General MacArthur. 

A few days before the departure of the mission from Wash 
ington MacArthur phoned the White House for an appoint 
ment to pay his final respects to Roosevelt. 

The President received him with even more than his or 
dinary kindness. He was generous in his appreciation of the 
magnificent work the soldier had done for his country and for 
him personally. Finally the General arose to say good-bye. 

The President looked up at him, and his voice sounded 
strong and warm with emotion. 

"Douglas," he said slowly, "if war should suddenly come, 
don t wait for orders to return home. Grab the first transporta 
tion you can find. I want you to command my armies/ 

It seemed a gracious thing for Roosevelt to say. It was the 
final nod of professional approval, and no words could have 
meant more to the officer who was about to relinquish his high 

Obviously MacArthur had a great deal for which to be 
proud and thankful. Ahead of him lay a difficult task that 
might some day prove to be of supreme importance to his own 
country as well as to the Islands he loved so deeply. It was 
fortunate that he had the official sanction and orders to con 
tinue as Chief of Staff until several weeks after he arrived in 


Manila. This would give him time to lay out a plan whereby 
eventually the U. S. Regular Army forces in the Islands could 
be used in a variety of ways to help build and train the new 
Philippine army reserve. It was of considerable importance, 
too, that Secretary of War Bern was to be with him in Manila 
at the start. 

Captain Davis secured for the party a piivate Pullman car 
that went straight through from Washington to San Francisco. 
When the Union Pacific train pulled into Cheyenne, the group 
was joined by Major Eisenhower, whose wife and small son 
were temporarily remaining in Denver. Mac Arthur stepped 
down from the car for a short walk on the station platform. 
He had made only one or two turns alongside the train when a 
young man approached in the dim light and asked him if he 
was General MacArthur. 

"I m a reporter from the paper here, and we just got news 
you were on this train/ he explained, when he had been as 
sured that he had found the right man. "What do you think 
of the appointment of General Craig as the new Chief of 

MacArthur smiled down at the young man and never batted 
an eye. Obviously the solemn pledge approved by the Presi 
dent had been broken. 

"There couldn t have been a better appointment," he an 
swered. "General Craig is a splendid officer and a fine gentle 

At this moment the station agent hurried up with a yellow 
envelope in his hand. He recognized the General and handed 
him the telegram. 

The bell was ringing on ahead and the porter was motion 
ing him to board his car. He walked slowly back to his apart 
ment and opened the envelope, that had been sent care of the 
ticket agent at Cheyenne. The message read: 

The following telegram just received and since it conveys a 
message to you I am transmitting the same herewith quote I have 
detailed today Major General Malin Craig effective this date, 
to succeed General Douglas MacArthur, relieved this date as 
Chief of Staff of the United States Army, with rank of General. 
I have also signed the recess commission appointing General 

Craig to the office of Chief of Staff. Please instruct the Adjutant 
General to issue the orders necessary to conform with the action 
I have taken. I have decided to make this appointment before I 
sail today on the Houston. Please extend to General MacArthur 
an expression of my gratitude and appreciation of his excellent 
service so exceptional that I called upon him to continue to per 
form the duties of that office almost a year after the regular four- 
year detail had been completed. I am forwarding to you the order 
with the commission signed Franklin D. Roosevelt unquote. As 
acting Secretary of War I want again to express my deep regard 
of your unexcelled service to the nation, the National Defense 
and the Army in the high position you are relinquishing. 

Harry H. Woodring 

Acting Secretary of War 

So the President had gone back on the agreement that Mac- 
Arthur was not to be relieved until December 15. And now 
it would be infinitely more difficult to do the job of creating an 
efficient Philippine Army that would act as a priceless reserve 
in trained manpower for America when it was needed. Mac- 
Arthur had counted heavily on his first month in Manila when 
he would still have had all the power and prestige of the 
Chief of Staff of the United States Army to back him up. Now 
he would have to do the best he could without it. 

It was some time later that he learned the details of his 
sudden and mysterious relief by the President. Roosevelt had 
left Washington by special train for California a day before the 
MacArthur party. Accompanying him was Hugh Johnson, 
WPA administrator, who at the moment was in high favor 
with President Roosevelt. As a shavetail officer and classmate 
of MacArthur s, Lieutenant Johnson was assigned to a cavalry 
troop commanded by Malin Craig, West Point 1898. Later 
Craig had been looked upon with favor by Pershing s 
Chaumont clique. He had been chief of staff of a corps in 
France, and had been made a brigadier general of the Regular 
Army in 1921 two years after MacArthur, who was younger, 
got his permanent promotion to that grade. 

Hugh Johnson had always kept in close contact with his 
old company commander, and now here on a special train 
California-bound, with world conditions in a precarious con- 


dition, the WPA administrator went to great lengths to con 
vince the President that it was unsafe for both the Chief of 
Staff and the Secretary of Wat to be out of the country at the 
same time. Why not relieve MacArthur at once? He knew the 
very man for Chief of Staff Major General Malin Craig. 

And so it was that the energetic and pushing Hugh John 
son who had been a sort of self -delegated rival of Mac- 
Arthur s at West Point talked President Roosevelt into sum 
marily relieving MacArthur, regardless of the official orders 
that he was not to be replaced until mid-December. This con 
scienceless double-cross was in the end to deal a damaging 
blow to the building of America s strength in the Far East. 

It might be a slight exaggeration to refer to MacArthur s as 
signment to the Philippines as a deliberately planned exile. 
But in many ways it proved to be exactly that. 

Once in Manila he would no longer be a constant thorn i& 
the side of the radical Brain Trusters who were moving Roose 
velt more and more to the left and toward a semi-socialist 
state. These men were aware of the unusually strange relation 
ship that existed between the President and General MacArthur. 
Roosevelt in all the years to come never quite lost his initial 
admiration for the extraordinary intelligence and pure patri 
otic motives of MacArthur, despite the President s frequent 
bitter words of criticism. The General might often oppose 
him and refuse to bend to his whims and wishes, but there 
could never be any serious doubt in Roosevelt s mind concern 
ing his honor and his unique abilities. (Long after the Presi 
dent s death, and when he had finally returned home, Mac- 
Arthur was to say, "Roosevelt was not my nemesis.") 

To the White House hangers-on who were primarily in 
terested in their hold on the President, the soldier had often 
stood as a roadblock to their designs. Once he was planted in 
the Philippines, he could be cut off and isolated from the 
President, and his strong influence could end. He could be 
given the silent treatment as heartbreaking and deadly as the 

silence that had a few times been given to unethical army 
officers at West Point by the Corps of Cadets. 

But his exile was by no means as simple or innocuous as all 
this. Already there were ominous portents and influences at 
work in Washington which had been spawned with President 
Roosevelt s 1933 recognition of the Soviet Union. At once 
secret groups friendly or actually subservient to the Soviets 
began to exert pressure on the government in behalf of the 
Kremlin. Apparently it was important for them to have Mac- 
Arthur and his definitely patriotic authority over the Army 
far removed from Washington. 

The extent and true purpose of the slowly expanding Red- 
sponsored intrigues in Washington were still concealed, but 
time was to bring to light certain parts of the subversive plots 
within America and elsewhere. The Soviets interference with 
other countries had long been serious. 

Back in the early 20 $ the Soviet Union had failed in her 
attempt to win over Chiang Kai-shek and his Kuomintang 
party, and the Russian political-military mission was driven 
out of China. But it left behind a vigorous and determined 
Communist-Chinese group, which Chiang was never quite able 
fully to eliminate. 

Eventually, when World War II had been going on for some 
months in Europe, Russia effected a 5-year non-aggression pact 
with Japan. This guaranteed that Russia would not have to fight 
a two-front war if, and when, Germany attacked her. So far as 
the Soviets were concerned, it gave Japan a free hand in China, 
enabling the Japs to turn south and drive down the China Sea 
and through the Philippines to the fabulous wealth of Southeast 
Asia and the Dutch East Indies. 

As a part of this Communist plan was the need of keeping 
the Philippines weak, so that Japan would be encouraged to 
turn her back on Siberia and someday plunge into a great adven* 
ture to the southward. 

America, traditional friend of China and Chiang Kai-shek, 
opposed Japan s expanding invasion of the Asiatic mainland and 
her eventual turn southward, but failed to build up the military 
power in the Philippines that could have been a natural de 


In very simple terms, it had for years been to Russia s ad 
vantage to keep Japan interested in her southern march so that 
Russia need have little fear for her own Far Eastern frontier 
in case Germany suddenly struck. To keep the Philippines 
weak while secretly turning Japan to southern conquests 
was part of her plot. MacArthur had no way of knowing all the 
sources of opposition to him and his patriotic efforts in the 
Philippines. What passed for years as little more than a delib 
erate personal unconcern and a refusal on the part of certain 
high officials in the General Staff and in the government to aid 
MacArthur may have had behind it secret and unrecognized 
forces of foreign and home intrigue. 

There seems no doubt that MacArthur fully realized how final 
and conclusive his present assignment to the Far Pacific 
would be. Unless war came, his plan was to remain there six 
years, although actually the entire Philippine military pro 
gram would involve ten years. He seemed now to be tied for 
good and all into the destinies of these Islands and of the Far 

Japan was obviously the immediate potential enemy in the 
highly explosive period of the middle 19305. Her march into 
the heart of China seemed relentless and irresistible. Her mili 
tarists apparently had a death grip on the government and to 
all practical purposes were in control though the Emperor 
often offered a sturdy resistance to them. 

Japan s appeal to great portions of the brown races of the 
vast southeastern areas of Asia was genuine and incontestable. 
Her gradually maturing Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere was 
pleasant bait to many native peoples in contrast to the ex 
ploitation of the old European conquerors. She promised a far 
less cruel exploitation, along with a complete lack of racial 

Communist Russia had just gone through her bitterest 
purge, liquidating thousands of old-line Bolsheviks who had 
once been leading civil and military officials. Stalin was ab 
sorbed in his struggle for his own complete domination within 

the Red borders. But intelligence reports that MacArthur had 
carefully studied revealed that Stalin was slowly building up 
his military might in Eastern Siberia, and at the same time he 
was developing great steel plants and factories far east of the 
Volga in the remote Urals and within the ancient boundaries 
of Siberia. Clearly he had not relinquished the old Russian 
dreams for warm-water ports on the Pacific. 

Unaware of the depth of Red intrigues in Washington, Mac- 
Arthur considered the loyal Philippines as America s key to the 
whole Western Pacific and to the control of the strategic sea 
lanes that paralleled the coasts of East Asia. From this friendly 
base America might some day have to fight the conqueror 
possibly a succession of conquerors of Asia and the Western 

It seemed at the moment of MacArthur s arrival in 1935 
that Japan might be the first to strike. So he considered su 
premely important his plan for building a mighty pool of 
trained manpower in the Philippines, ready for America to use 
in some future hour of peril. 

Douglas MacArthur, now 55 and at the height of his strength 
and powers, was risking his fate in this absorbing drama of the 
Western Pacific. It was a magnificent challenge and he met it 
head on. The challenge assumed a score of different faces, 
filling his mind and recalling to his memory the priceless 
truths he had learned in the years when as a young officer he 
had travelled with his wise father over the vast areas of the 
Far East. 

During his many long nights of reading and study Mac- 
Arthur had come across a strange prophecy made in 1855 by 
Commodore Matthew C. Perry, four years after his little fleet 
opened the sealed doors of Japan. It was in a remarkable paper 
that had been read before a meeting of the American Geo 
graphical and Statistical Society at Harvard and later pub 
lished by D. Appleton & Co. Two long paragraphs deserve 
careful study. 

It requires no sage to predict events so strongly foreshadowed 
to us all; still "Westward will the course of empire take its way." 
But the last act of the drama is yet to be unfolded; and not with 
standing the reasoning of political empirics, Westward, North- 


ward and Southward, to me it seems that the people of America 
will, in some form or other, extend their dominion and their 
power, until they shall have brought within their mighty embrace 
the multitudes of the Islands of the great Pacific, and placed the 
Saxon race upon the eastern shores of Asia. And I think, too, 
that eastward and southward will her great rival in future ag 
grandisement (Russia) stretch forth her power to the coasts of 
China and Siam; and thus the Saxon and the Cossack will meet 
once more, in strife or in friendship, on another field. 

Will it be in friendship? I fear not! The antagonistic exponents 
of freedom and absolutism must thus meet at last, and then will 
be fought this mighty battle on which the world will look with 
breathless interest; for on its issue will depend the freedom or 
the slavery of the world despotism or rational liberty must be 
-the fate of civilized men. I think I see in the distance the giants 
that are growing up for this fierce and final encounter; in the 
progress of events that battle must sooner or later inevitably be 

And in MacArthur s mind were the words uttered by the 
young Senator Beveridge of Indiana in 1900: "The power that 
rules the Pacific ... is the power that rules the world/ 

In a very definite way the five years he had served as Army 
Chief of Staff under two presidents had helped prepare him 
for the great and uncertain task he faced. He had become a 
prominent national figure, and his reputation for brilliance 
had made his name known in every capital in the world. 

To most of his friends and intimates he still appeared de 
cidedly complex. Despite all his personal magnetism, charm 
and definite superiority of intellect, he was beginning to be 
looked upon as more or less of an enigma, touched possibly by 
mysticism. His swift decisions drawn from the vast reservoir of 
his knowledge seemed only to add to his reputation for possess 
ing an exceptional gift of intuition and insight. 

Few seemed to have understood the singleness of his pur 
pose, the over-all simplicity and directness of his mind and 
background. His moral sense clearly distinguished right from 
wrong, justice from unfairness. Above all, his impassioned love 

of country had long ago absorbed the strong personal ambitions 
of his youth. 

These fundamentally important characteristics often were 
ignored by those whose myopic vision could see only his nor 
mal human weaknesses. Friends, constantly pouring out to him 
their full measure of devotion, could not at times understand 
why he apparently gave them so little in return. They con 
fused his self-discipline and need for concentration with self 
ishness and unconcern. It was difficult for them to understand 
how fully he had consecrated his mind and heart to his coun 
try s service. 

During most of his adult life he had sacrificed what would 
normally have been happy hours of companionship for the 
solitude and study that developed his mind in knowledge and 
judgment. But even though he seemingly pushed aside his 
natural gifts for human affection and friendship, nothing could 
dim his personal charm and magnetism, 


Even before the ship touched at Honolulu the General s 
mother began to fail in a way that caused alarm. She was in 
her 84th year, but, as Doctor Hutter had assured the General, 
the long journey had nothing to do with her present condition. 

The faithful Mary MacArthur was almost constantly with 
her in her cabin. Only once did the mother attempt to sit on 
deck. It proved far easier for her to remain propped up in bed. 

For long periods during each day and evening her son would 
sit by her side and talk to her of his plans, as he had done all 
his life. He drew some solace from the fact that no matter 
what happened to her, he would be close by her. It was evi 
dent that she was probably facing her last illness. 


Although the official inaugural party, headed by Vice-Presi 
dent Garner, was on another ship, there was considerable gaiety 
on board the President Hoover. MacArthur took no share in the 
festivities during the voyage, but the ship s captain did intro 
duce him to a vivacious young lady from Murfreesboro, Ten 
nessee, who had a quick smile and a ready wit. It was pleasant 
to walk the deck with her and to lean over the rail by her side 
and watch the sea. 

Shortly before the ship pulled out of Honolulu two large 
boxes of flowers were put on board. One found its way to the 
cabin of Mrs. Arthur MacArthur, Sr.; the other was opened by 
Miss Jean Faircloth. 

The General would have liked very much to have his mother 
meet the gay, attractive young lady, but it was not to be. 
Neither on board the ship, nor during the few short weeks she 
lived at the Manila Hotel before her death on December 14, 
!935> did the mother set eyes on the slender, gracious woman 
who was to mean so much to her son in the years ahead. 

She suffered from a cerebral thrombosis, a blood clot in the 
arteries of the brain. During her last days she rallied now and 
again, but finally sank into a coma. On the morning of her 
death she spoke to her son before she drifted off into her last 

Thus ended the beautiful and lasting comradeship of 
mother and son throughout the years. Each had the highest 
respect for the intelligence and character of the other. And 
the households they had shared were filled with gracious, old- 
fashioned living. 

In February 1937 the General brought her remains to Wash 
ington, where she was buried in the National Cemetery by 
the side of her distinguished husband. Acting Secretary of War 
Harry Woodring and a little group of intimate friends at 
tended the simple rites. 

The first bill that President Quez6n presented to the Assembly 
of his new Commonwealth government was the National De 
fense Act that had been formulated by General MacArthur. 


The hard core of the land defense rested on a small, profes 
sional Philippine regular army of some 350 officers and 5,000 
enlisted men, with a permanent army headquarters and staff. 
The real defense would ultimately lie in the troops of the 
reserve divisions, to be drafted and trained at the rate of some 
40,000 recruits each year. Half of this number would enter 
the training camps for 51^ months training each 6-month pe 

In all, 128 camps were constructed at an individual cost 
of approximately $8,250, U. S. currency, each housing around 
150 trainees. Each camp s permanent instructional force the 
training cadre consisted of three or four officers and eight to 
twelve enlisted men. Trainees were assigned to the camps 
nearest their homes, and eventually they were to become a 
part of the reserve division posted in their immediate locality. 

When the Philippines should receive their full inde 
pendence in 1946, the Philippine government would have a 
trained and organized militia of about 400,000 men, formed 
into some 40 divisions, strategically placed on all the important 
islands and ready for prompt mobilization to defend the landing 
beaches and oppose ground attacks in the particular area 
assigned to each unit. For training equipment and weapons, 
MacArthur was forced to be content with World War I Amer 
ican stocks on loan. At the end of the ten-year training period 
1946 he trusted that modern weapons would be supplied in 
part or wholly by the United States, depending, of course, on 
the world situation. 

It was broadly formed after the plan of the citizens army, 
based on the principles of universal selective service, which 
had proved so successful in Switzerland. In addition to the 
ground forces, there would be a fleet of 50 small, high-speed 
torpedo-throwing craft to oppose hostile landings and an air 
force of 250 planes. 

MacArthur quickly established a splendid military academy, 
built on the model of West Point and under the superintend- 
ency of Colonel Pastor Martelino, a Filipino officer who had 
graduated from West Point in the class of 1920. An imagina 
tive and energetic young American officer, Captain Bonnei 
Fellers, who joined MacArthur s staff in February 1936, was 


assigned the job of creating almost overnight a Reserve Officers 
Training School at Baguio. 

Majors Eisenhower and Ord put in long hours organizing 
the first series of small cantonments, borrowing the initial 
training cadres from the Philippine constabulary, which even 
tually was to be incorporated into the regular Philippine Army. 
Besides the purely military side of the camps, there was a 
broad and humane effort to build up the health and economic 
well-being of the trainees, 80% of whom were from backward 
rural homes and surroundings. 

Things progressed rapidly, but there was no question about 
the handicap imposed on MacArthur by his relief as Chief of 
Staff. One of the ideas that he had hoped to incorporate into his 
over-all plan was for the American Army in the Islands to 
school a number of enlisted Filipinos for use in the training 
program. It would have improved the quality of training given 
the Filipino selectees; and it would have been of enormous 
training value to the American Army itself. His sudden relief 
as Chief of Staff shattered these high hopes. 

The Philippine Commonwealth, limited in funds as it was, 
was paying the full bill totalling $8,000,000 gold annually. U. S. 
Regular Army officers, both in Manila and Washington, were 
rather skeptical of the whole proposition. General Craig and 
his staff were too busy implementing MacArthur s Four-Army 
plan, as well as fighting to get additional troops and equip 
ment, to be genuinely concerned about the fate of the great 
experiment on the other side of the world. The Philippine 
Department commander, taking his cue from Washington, sat 
idly by. 

But despite this lack of interest in Washington and Manila, 
the alert and impetuous Manuel Quez6n was delighted with 
the early progress made. His enthusiasm took the form of in 
sisting that MacArthur accept the rank of field marshal of the 
then almost non-existent Philippine Army. At an elaborate 
ceremony at Malacanan Palace on August 24, 1936, President 
Quezon presented him with the commission, and Mrs. Quez6n 
handed him the gold baton of a field marshal. 

To the skeptical habitues of Manila clubs this was an event 
inviting sly comment. Probably at the moment the high rank 

was hardly worth the gold that went into the baton. Mac- 
Arthur, however, knew what the friendly gesture meant to 
millions of humble and patient Filipinos who had so much 
faith in him. ; 

Almost from the beginning of his" new duties he had to face 
hidden but effective civilian and governmental opposition, 
both in Manila and in Washington. Shortly after the new 
Philippine government came into being, High Commissioner 
Murphy intimated to Roosevelt that the Islands were not big 
enough for both MacArthur and himself. He insisted that Mac- 
Arthur, as President Quez6n s Military Advisor, should be di 
rectly under his own office. 

The subsequent actions and reactions of Murphy form a 
somewhat curious pattern. A bachelor, he seemingly placed 
considerable store in the friendship of both President and Mrs. 
Quez6n. As a matter of fact, he may have been envious of the 
long intimacy of MacArthur with the Quez6n family. Once 
when he was rather petulantly chiding Mrs. Quez6n regarding 
the General s close family relationship, she answered: "But, 
Frank, you don t seem to understand: Douglas is our brother/ 

After MacArthur had been in Manila a little more than a 
year, Murphy, who had returned to the States and been suc 
ceeded by the former Governor of Indiana, Paul V. McNutt, 
wired Quezon that President Roosevelt was anxious to see the 
Commonwealth President sometime during February 1937. As 
a result of this apparently friendly invitation, the Quez6ns with 
MacArthur and a small group embarked for the States on 
January 23, 1937. 

When they arrived in New York they found Murphy on 
vacation in Florida, and no word of welcome from the White 
House. It was a most embarrassing situation for the proud 
and sensitive President of the Commonwealth. MacArthur 
went straight to Washington to find out what was wrong. 

He called Ross Mclntyre, the President s secretary, and 
asked for an appointment with Roosevelt. He made it clear 
that he wanted to talk over the visit of the Commonwealth s 
President, and to explain that the invitation had come from 
Frank Murphy, and how important it was especially to the 
Far East that Quez6n receive every courtesy and considera- 


tion. Mclntyre replied that President Roosevelt had no idea 
what Quez6n was doing in the United States, that he had sent 
no invitation for him to come to Washington either through 
Murphy or anyone else, and that he had no intention of seeing 
the Philippine Chief Executive. 

MacArthur continued to urge the importance of Quez6n be 
ing properly received, but Mclntyre refused to be moved. The 
General then asked for an appointment to pay his own re 
spects to the President. This was reluctantly granted, with the 
stipulation that it was not to be for more than five or ten 

Less than two years before MacArthur had been accorded 
every courtesy in the White House; now he was grudgingly 
allowed a short courtesy call, only after he had insisted upon 

The following day MacArthur kept the appointment, but 
instead of a few minutes he stayed for almost two hours. Once 
again there were hot words and a frankness that few ever 
dared to use with the President of the United States. Mac- 
Arthur insisted that at the very least Roosevelt must invite 
Quezon to lunch. The whole Far Eastern world was watching 
the unprecedented experiment of this voluntary creation of the 
Philippine Commonwealth; the consequences of a snub to the 
President of the Philippines could have dangerous repercus 
sions throughout the Asiatic world. MacArthur pointed out 
that the Japanese Army was again on the loose and if the 
United States should become involved in a Pacific war, it was 
absolutely necessary to have the enthusiastic loyalty of Quezon 
and the Islands. 

Roosevelt finally agreed to invite Quez6n alone to a private 
lunch, but that very same evening of the MacArthur interview 
Secretary Mclntyre phoned that the President had changed 
his mind and the luncheon was off. MacArthur requested that 
he be switched to the President s phone, and so determined 
was his demand that Mclntyre said he would himself talk to 
the President again and would call back the General. This 
time the secretary announced that Roosevelt had reconsidered 
the matter and would see Quez6n at lundi. 

In order to soften the appearance of the White House snub, 

Acting Secretary of War Woodring gave Quez6n and his group 
a large official tea party at the Mayflower. Both MacArthur 
and the new High Commissioner McNutt were present. 

It was clear that certain men close to the President were in 
opposition to the Quez6n-MacArthur team. And some commer 
cial interests probably had both sincere and selfish motives in 
their desire to see the Philippines give up the idea of full 
independence and remain permanently as a commonwealth 
with free trade with the United States and with the great naval 
base in Manila Bay remaining securely in American hands. 
Powerful and conservative Spanish elements within the 
Catholic Church were definitely opposed to complete inde 
pendence. But of even greater importance were secret in 
fluences managed by Soviet Russia that were concerned with 
prejudicing the Far East against the United States. 

MacArthur, busy as he was in advising Quezon on many 
items, had certain affairs of his own to look after. On Friday 
morning, April 30, he appeared at the marriage chapel of the 
Municipal Building in New York with Major Howard J. 
Hutter and Captain T. J. Davis, his aides and Miss Jean 
Marie Faircloth. At 10 o clock Deputy City Clerk Philip A. 
Hines performed the civil marriage ceremony, and the party 
repaired to the Astor Hotel for a wedding breakfast. 

It had been an unusual courtship. Until shortly before the 
ship carrying the MacArthur party and Miss Faircloth docked 
at Hong Kong, on the trip out to Manila in October 1935, 
Miss Faircloth had planned to leave the ship for a visit with 
British friends in the Crown Colony. But there was gentle 
pressure from all sides for her to continue to Manila and wit 
ness the colorful inaugural ceremonies. 

She found it easy and pleasant to stay on at the Manila 
Hotel. She was a very youthful 35, and there were many at 
tractive young bachelor officers and American civilians to keep 
her days bright and full. As time went on she dined rather 
often with the General and one or two of his aides in the 
public dining room of the hotel. Often the two would attend 
a movie together. 

Shortly after the Quezon-MacArthur party had left for the 
States in January 1937, Miss Jean quietly departed from 


Manila by plane. It was a rough voyage to Honolulu both for 
her on her plane, and for the official party on their ship. Quite 
by coincidence they all shifted at Hawaii to a steamer bound 
for San Diego. The marriage was to be kept a secret until the 
actual ceremony was over. 

Back in Manila the MacArthurs lived in quiet contentment 
in a specially built penthouse atop the Manila Hotel. As he 
had done for the past 20 years, the General shunned all but a 
very few official gatherings, and spent most of his evenings in 
his library. His one relaxation continued to be the movies, 
and particularly when a Western was shown. 

Toward the middle of August a letter was handed to him 
marked "Personal and Confidential." It read as follows: 




August 6, 1937 


General Douglas MacArthur - 

Military Advisor to the 

President of the Philippine Commonwealth 

Manila, Philippine Islands. 

My dear Douglas: 

1 am letting you know in this personal and confidential way 
that it has been decided that your services are needed in the 
United States and that upon completion by you of two years of 
absence on foreign service you are to be brought home for duty 
in the United States, and the directive in a confidential letter of 
September 18, 1935, from the Adjutant General to you extending 
the limits of your tour, will be revoked. 

There will be made available to you if practicable any com 
mand for which you may express a preference, even though this 
will probably involve the arbitrary change of station and duties 
of the incumbent whose command will be desired by you. . . . 

The return of your Assistants is not contemplated right now, 
in order that the work you are doing may continue as planned 
and until the Commonwealth President makes other arrange 
ments for a Military Advisor who, after installation, will makfc 
such changes as he may desire. 

I am suggesting that you communicate with me in code as, 


aside from the Secretary of War, no one in the War Department 
knows the foregoing . . . 

Please believe me, with kind regards and best wishes 

Sincerely your friend, 
(sgd.) Malin Craig 

MacArthur studied the astounding document. At first he felt 
that some sudden fear of war had gripped the White House 
and that he was being called home to take over the building of 
a field army. But the more he considered the strange letter, the 
more he was convinced that such a possibility was not the rea 
son for his recall. It might even be that he was being forced 
from his close association with Quez6n in order to embarrass 
the whole Philippine independence movement and to deny 
the Philippine President the constant use of his help and ad 

Finally he ended by sending in code a cautiously worded 
reply to Craig: 

I am naturally sorry to go. Particularly do I regret leaving un 
finished a work which I regard as of transcendent importance and 
which represents to me an opportunity for service in the Philip 
pines, to my own government, and to the Filipino people, for 
whom I have an abiding affection and esteem. I look forward with 
anticipation to whatever duty the War Department may have 
decided I should now undertake in the service of my country. 


Quez6n was distraught at the prospect of losing the advice 
and counsel of his trusted friend. He had constantly leaned on 
the General during many dark hours in these early days of the 
young commonwealth. To assure the swift and sure delivery 
of his protest, President Quez6n now sent through the new 
High Commissioner Paul V. McNutt a long cable to President 
Roosevelt. It began: 

I am deeply disturbed by the persistent rumors which have 
come to me both in the States and since my return to Manila, 
that the War Department contemplates the early relief of Gen 
eral MacArthur as military advisor to this government. While 
reluctant to impose upon your time with a subject that may 
have no foundation in fact, I am so upset by the consequences of 


such a contingency that I have decided to present my own earnest 
convictions to you personally. . . . 

From the inception of the defense undertaking, it was manifest 
that the individual selected to devise such a program in all its 
technical details . . . should be permitted to carry the program 
to its practical fruition. In my original conferences with the late 
Secretary of War Dern, looking towards the detail of General 
MacArthur on this task, this point was particularly stressed. I 
was then definitely assured that only in the event of war would 
General MacArthur be relieved from his position before the 
expiration of the six year period of my administration. . . . 

But the American President did not bother even to acknowl 
edge this cable if he ever saw it. Quez6n, now frantic over the 
prospect of losing his mainstay, appealed to MacArthur to ask 
for retirement from the U. S. Army in order that he might 
continue on as his Military Advisor. 

Conscious of the growing opposition that had developed 
against him, MacArthur felt that his duty left him no al 
ternative but to write Craig asking for retirement on Decem 
ber 31, 1937. There was some question whether this request 
would be granted. In the end, he was to feel grateful to Craig 
for taking his request directly to the White House and secur 
ing the personal approval of the President. 

A curious sidelight on the situation is contained in a long 
letter to Mrs. Roosevelt at the White House from a trusted 
old friend, Fred Howe, who at this time was a newly arrived 
special advisor to the Philippine President on the problem of 
rural rehabilitation. It was the first report that Howe made in 
directly to the White House. Certain passages seem to throw 
a degree of light on the character of the recent opposition 
there to MacArthur. The letter dated September 7, 1937, 
read in part: 

. . . When I came out here I had been loaded with statements 
regarding President Quez6n, about the American Army, about a 
2,000,000 Philippine Army that was being created by General 
MacArthur, until I hesitated about coming. Much of this came 
from The Nation and other friends of a radical sort with whom 
I have long been associated. 

And now to my mental amazement I find the same propaganda 

being made by the imperialists that is being made by portions 
of the press and my friends back home. I am wondering if our 
friends are not being used, as they have been used before, to pull 
the chestnuts out of the fire, for those who want the United 
States to hold on to the Islands, to scuttle President Quez6n and 
discredit General MacArthur, who has won my confidence as have 
few men I have met in the Islands. Instead of an army of 2,000,000 
I find successive militia groups of 20,000 men being given six 
months training, largely with the ultimate objective of an army 
of 400,000 militia in ten years. Also that the training that they 
get is in hygiene, in agriculture, in handicraft, and in making 
them ready to take up homesteads and establish themselves as 
self-respecting citizens. . . . 

But it is the success of President Quez6n as an administrator, 
and of General MacArthur in building a citizen army, designed 
as a defensive army only, that stands in the way of an impe 
rialistic policy. If President Quez6n can be discredited and the 
trainee system, similar to the Swiss army, be halted, almost the 
only alternative is American military and naval protection of 
the Islands. And judging by what I hear from home and the 
attitude of the imperialistic interests in Manila, that would seem 
to be the present insidious line of attack; a line of attack in which 
the pacific minded persons are working hand in glove with the 
very forces they most fear. . . . 

Almost certainly the Howe letter was read by President 
Roosevelt, but it made no difference. On October 11, 1937, 
Secretary of War Woodring released to the press a cable the 
President had just sent to MacArthur. Parts of it might al 
most have been copied from the telegram from Roosevelt 
that had been delivered to the General two years before, when 
he had suddenly relieved him as Chief of Staff. This latest 
message read: 

Dear Douglas: With great reluctance and deep regret I have 
approved your application for retirement, effective December 31. 
Personally, as well as officially, I wish to thank you for your out 
standing services to your country. Your record in war and in 
peace is a brilliant chapter of American history. Please accept my 
best wishes for a well-earned rest and for abundant happiness. 
I count on seeing you as soon as you get back. 

Franklin D. Roosevelt. 


One other phase of his virtually forced retirement from the 
Army at this time in 1937 is worthy o note: MacArthur was 
officially notified by the War Department that he would be 
raised to the rank of full general when he retired which was 
the identical promise that had been made when his relief as 
Chief of Staff had been announced in 1935. But somewhere up 
the line, once again, the word given was ignored, for he was 
officially retired as a major general. 

On November 21, 1937, the A.P. correspondent in Manila 
dispatched a cable stating that there was again talk in the Is 
lands of the possibility of Filipino leaders asking that the full 
independence provision be changed to a permanent domin 
ion form of government within the framework of the United 
States. Even Quez6n was indicated as having seriously enter 
tained the startling proposition. 

The cable further went on to say that at the last moment 
before adjourning, the session of the National Assembly voted 
a resolution of thanks to MacArthur for his aid in organizing 
the Philippine Army, "but the Assembly deleted a section 
which would have authorized and empowered Quezon to re 
tain MacArthur as his Military Advisor and to keep his name 
on the army roll for life/ 

MacArthur kept his own counsel. Meanwhile other cables 
were being sent from Manila. The day after Christmas The 
New York Times carried a dispatch that certain Common 
wealth officials were critical of the burden of MacArthur s 
special salary. 

It had been a well-kept secret that in addition to the then 
$6,000 retired pay of a major general, he was receiving from 
the Philippine government an annual salary of $15,000 gold 
as Military Advisor to the President, and the same amount for 
civil representation. 

Officers on MacArthur s staff, who were still on active status 
in the United States Army but on assignment to the office of 
Military Advisor, also received a special per diem allowance of 
$10 gold from the Philippine government. Toward the end 

of Lt. Colonel Eisenhower s first extra year of duty, he took 
up with President Quezon the matter of an additional emolu 
ment for himself and he was granted an increase that 
amounted to $500 a month rather than the original $10 a day. 
Few questioned that for chief of staff to the military mission it 
was a just and fully earned increase in pay. 

On Christmas day, President Quez6n was scheduled to make 
a radio speech to America in the form of a fireside talk. But 
he was half sick and harassed, having been under terrific 
pressure from various church and business interests to back 
down from his commitments for complete independence for 
the commonwealth government in 1946, and to ask, instead, 
for a long-range dominion status, under the protection of the 
United States with free trade. 

When MacArthur heard of the proposed speech he immedi 
ately protested and persuaded Quez6n to cancel the broadcast. 

But if Quez6n wavered momentarily in his independence 
plans, he did not falter in his insistence that MacArthur stay 
on with him, regardless of everything else. On December 31 
it was announced from Malacafian Palace that MacArthur was 
remaining as Military Advisor to the President. 

MacArthur s only comment was: "This is a call of duty I 
cannot fail." 

But in his own mind, there must have been considerable 
bitterness over being forced to retire from the American 
Army he had served so long. He was never to discover all the 
hidden reasons and secret ramifications that were responsible 
for the summary order for him to return home. To confuse 
the issue further there were groups around President Roose 
velt and within the War Department that were well pleased 
to have him isolated and forgotten 10,000 miles from Wash 

Back in October of 1937 MacArthur disclosed confidentially to 
the senior members of the staff his pending recall to the 
United States. Neither Eisenhower nor Ord, both of whom 
had recently been promoted to the permanent rank of lieu- 


tenant colonel, could be criticized for wondering if the fat 
plum of Military Advisor might not fall in his lap. Each coveted 
the assignment. They had been fellow cadets at West Point 
and they were close friends. 

From the start of the mission Lt. Colonel Ord, an accom 
plished Spanish scholar, handled personally the Philippine 
Army budget for both the Military Advisor s office and Presi 
dent Quezon. Ord and Eisenhower felt that the small perma 
nent Philippine Regular Army, as distinct from the Reserve 
Army, should be substantially increased in size. With little 
help coming from the U. S. forces in the Islands, it was neces 
sary to assign many of the Philippine regulars to the training 
camps and to the headquarters staff. The two senior planning 
officers of the mission felt keenly that there should be larger 
and more impressive regular units. But adding to the Philip 
pine Regular Army strength would entail an enlarged budget, 
which was the one thing General MacArthur had promised 
Quezon he would never request. 

Apparently Lt. Colonel Ord, knowing that MacArthur would 
soon be relieved as Military Advisor, and secure in the belief 
in the justice of his case, did construct a new budget and 
independently took it to Quez6n, without clearing it through 
MacArthur, chief of the mission. President Quez6n was aghast. 

"Why, General MacArthur assured me that there would 
never have to be an enlarged budget," Quez6n in effect ex 
plained. "I pledged the Assembly that I would never ask for 
an increase. I d rather have an arm cut off than ask for it now." 

Lt. Colonel Ord again carefully explained the need of the 

"Well, 111 do it if I have to/ 1 Quezon finally agreed, "but 
I have the most serious misgivings." 

Quez6n was so upset at the proposal that he held up certain 
routine matters that regularly passed between himself and 
MacArthur s office. Finally MacArthur, aware that there was 
something wrong along the line, called in his two senior assist 
ants to find out what the trouble was. It was then that he dis 
covered Ord s plan to get the budget increased. 

When he demanded an immediate explanation from Ord, 
Eisenhower came to his classmate s defense. MacArthur justly 

resented the fact that he had not been consulted, even though 
he was shortly to be relieved and returned home. The inter 
view was fiery, and deep scars were left. The close and intimate 
relation that had heretofore existed between the General and 
Eisenhower was forever destroyed. 

Ord was killed shortly after this when a training plane in 
which he was a passenger crashed near Baguio. MacArthur in 
announcing the tragic death stressed his professional and per 
sonal regard for the talented officer. 

In the fall of 1937, when Eisenhower s regular two-year as 
signment was drawing to a close, MacArthur had asked that 
Eisenhower s tour of duty on the military mission be extended 
for a third year. When that period was ending, he requested 
that he be kept on for a fourth year. It is an army tradition 
that on all Eisenhower s efficiency reports MacArthur had given 
him the highest possible rating, "Superior." 

Sometime after the tragic death of Ord a major of infantry, 
Richard Sutherland, whose father was a Senator from West 
Virginia, and who had in 1916 been commissioned in the 
Regular Army directly from Yale, was assigned to the mission 
as deputy chief of staff. In the late summer of 1938 when 
Eisenhower left Manila to be gone four months, Sutherland 
filled in as chief of staff. 

After Eisenhower s return he and Sutherland, with their 
widely different military and family backgrounds, developed 
certain cross-purposes. Sutherland gradually began to assume 
more and more power in the inner circle of the mission. 

On October 25, 1938, MacArthur wrote to an old army 
friend regarding the general Manila situation: 

In the Army all goes well. The Constabulary has been sepa 
rated from the Army proper and General Francisco has been 
named its Chief. It will have an appropriation of five million 
pesos of its own and will consist of 350 officers and 5,000 men. 
As there is to be no diminution in the Army budget it has eased 
up the financial situation considerably. Sutherland has proven 
himself a real find. Concise, energetic and able, he has been in 
valuable in helping me clarify and crystallize the situation. 

Late in 1939, after Eisenhower had served 4 full years, Suther 
land replaced him as chief of staff of the mission. The Mac- 


Arthurs joined in the gay despedido to the Eisenhowers when 
they sailed. A day or two before their departure Dr. Howard 
Hutter gave a farewell dinner for them, and the General and 
Mrs. MacArthur attended. (It was the last time the two soldiers 
would see one another until a day in May 1946 when General 
of the Army Eisenhower, newly appointed Chief of Staff of the 
U. S. Army, arrived in his plane at the Tokyo airfield, where he 
was met by General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Supreme 
Commander of the Japanese Occupation. Their next meeting 
after Tokyo was seven years later, when the newly designated 
Republican Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, brought them 
together at a luncheon in New York City. Eisenhower was 
then President elect.) 

It was obvious to MacArthur during these uncertain days 
that he had no real friends at court in Washington save pos 
sibly Brigadier General Edwin M. (Pa) Watson, President Roo 
sevelt s highly placed personal aide, and Steve Early, press sec 
retary, both MacArthur s devoted admirers. 

He realized how definitely and unmistakably he was being 
left alone. The men running the War Department were no 
longer his intimates. They were all fully occupied trying to 
make what little they had stretch out to cover the hundred 
and one items that called for help in the threatening world 
situation. And step by step they were being forced to accept 
the White House point of view that America must back up 
Britain in her growing conflict with Hitler s Nazi dictatorship. 

MacArthur s Philippine Reserve Army was slowly increas 
ing in numbers, but lack of properly trained officers, arms, 
equipment, and money for conducting even limited field ex 
ercises seriously handicapped his efforts. It was impossible in 
the original short 51^ -month training periods, complicated by 
schooling in hygiene and physical and moral improvement, 
to give die draftees more than the most rudimentary instruc 
tion in soldiering. In most cases there was no training possi 
ble for units larger than a company. 

Yet with proper aid from the White House and the War 

Department and with full cooperation from the U. S. Army 
in the Philippines, there could have been added each year to 
the Philippine Reserve Army a competent force of 40,000 well- 
armed and trained soldiers, ready for any emergency. It 
seemed almost incredible that the men running affairs in 
Washington, regardless of any personal animosity they might 
have had against MacArthur, did not help in the building up 
of this priceless reserve of manpower in the spot where it 
might be so badly needed. It was not until some years later that 
the facts regarding Red and anti-American influences in the 
government in Washington brought new light on the failures. 

Fortunately there was to be for MacArthur a very definite com 
pensation for these years when professionally he had so little 
with which to accomplish his vast military dream, and when so 
many roadblocks were being erected against him. On Febru 
ary 21, 1938, he was presented with a son and heir. 

Once again there was an Arthur MacArthur. The oldest son 
of his brother, Arthur, held the family given name until his 
death at the Naval Academy at Annapolis aged 17. The Gen 
eral s brother had died in 1924, so that the proud name was 
lost, until now when this little baby appeared to carry it on. 

To MacArthur, recently turned 58, this was by far the hap 
piest day of his life. Early that afternoon President Quezon 
and Captain Bonner Fellers, personal liaison officer between 
the Philippine President and General MacArthur, called to of 
fer their congratulations. 

The General was in fine fettle. He explained that some 
years before this when his two young nephews were married, 
he wrote each of them a half-serious, half-humorous letter ex 
plaining that since it was absolutely essential to perpetuate 
the name of their distinguished great-grandfather, their soldier 
grandfather and their own beloved father, he ordered and di 
rected them to produce a son to be duly named Arthur Mac- 
Arthur. But as time went on, only girls had appeared. 

And now on this fine day of February 21, 19158, he had 
again written his nephews. Since they had failed completely to 


carry out his orders he had decided he must take over the as 
signment personally and he was now reporting to them that 
the mission had been completed most satisfactorily, and that 
there was once again an Arthur MacArthur. 

When the baby was a few weeks old, the christening was 
held in the library of the penthouse atop the Manila Hotel. 
Only Dr. Hutter and one or two on the General s staff and Brig 
adier General Creed F. Cox, former chief of the Bureau of In 
sular Affairs were present. The local Bishop of the Episcopal 
Church officiated, and when the simple ceremony was ended, 
the General in measured tones so low they barely carried to the 
walls of the room proved again his great gift for words and deep 

It was a moment of supreme happiness for him, he said. 
Now the name Arthur MacArthur could live on. He hoped that 
a compassionate God would protect this little boy, so that he 
might long enjoy the superb inheritance that had been handed 
down to him. 

All in all, these years in Manila were by no means marked 
exclusively by defeat or frustration. He faced his problems 
dispassionately, giving each its proper place and weight. He 
had no illusions about how he stood in Washington. But he real 
ized that the men around the President and in the War and 
Navy departments were subject to terrific pressure during this 
period just before World War II. 

MacArthur knew that Brigadier General George Marshall 
would shortly relieve Malin Craig as Army Chief of Staff. In 
the fall of 1936, Colonel Marshall, at the urgent request of 
General Pershing, had been made a brigadier general. After 
commanding a brigade of infantry in Washington state for a 
year, he was brought to the General Staff and assigned head of 
war planning. In 1938 he was detailed as Deputy Chief of Staff, 
and in the summer of 1939, when General Craig went on ter 
minal leave, he became Acting Chief of Staff. On September i, 
the day Germany invaded Poland, Roosevelt appointed him 
Chief of Staff of the Army. 

General Craig would not have been MacArthur s choice as 
his successor. Craig was not always cooperative in helping along 
MacArthur s Philippine program. It is possible that Craig was 

pliable to the pressures from the White House and certain other 
sources, but he had no personal animosity toward MacArthur. 

George Marshall, however, might very well allow a personal 
feeling of hostility to influence his attitude. MacArthur had 
no reason at this time to harbor the slightest feeling of ill-will 
toward the new Chief of Staff. How much Marshall may have 
held against MacArthur can never be positively known. In 
their army associations, from the days when they had been 
young lieutenants, there had always been a rather far-fetched 
conscious or unconscious rivalry between them. MacArthur s 
spectacular rise in rank, culminating in being made the 4-star 
Chief of Staff while Marshall was still a lieutenant colonel, 
could hardly have failed to arouse a certain jealousy. Nor was 
it quite human to expect that Marshall could forget the fact 
that MacArthur had not insisted that he be made a general 
officer. [Early in the war Marshall said to a militarily minded 
visitor (the author) in his office: I m interested in making 
young generals. You know I wasn t made a general officer myself 
until a bare two years before I would have reached the age limit 
for promotion. I never forgot it." He might have added that he 
never forgave the man whom he thought responsible for this 

From the start of the mission back in October 1935 the cards 
had obviously been stacked against MacArthur by the men in 
power in Washington. Great events shaping up in Europe and 
Asia also were working against him and his dream of creating 
an adequate defensive Philippine Army. On his short visit 
stateside in the spring of 1937, he saw how the winds were 
blowing. Certain powerful groups were busy in their efforts to 
hypnotize America into a violent hate campaign against Hitler. 
By 1937 most of the important elements in the administration 
had joined up in creating a vast war propaganda machine. 

Despite 1936 campaign pledges and forecasts, it was evident 
that there had been little substantial economic recovery and 
that unemployment figures were again advancing. Both Ger 
many and Japan were casting dark war shadows, and it 
seemed easy and practical to build up a psychosis of fear 
against these twin threats to peace. And hate against Hitler was 
being carefully propagandized. 


So it was that President Roosevelt and the groups that were 
urging him on found a valid reason for launching a rearma 
ment program at home that coincided with a steady collusion 
with Britain s defense against the Nazis. Apparent concern over 
the new Japanese war against China, which started with the 
Marco Polo Bridge incident in Peiping in mid-ig37, gave a 
strong argument in favor of much-needed preparedness. 

As early as December 1937 there were informal exchanges 
and oral agreements made in London between the American 
and British navies, "in the event of the two fleets being re 
quired to work together in a war against Japan." Other moves 
followed this pattern of close coordination and mutual re 
sponsibilities of the U. S. and Britain. 

In the spring of 1939 the U. S. Joint Board Planning Com 
mitteethe Army and Navy in Washington made studies 
based on the prospect of America becoming involved in a 
World War. By May the talks reached the stage where the Joint 
Board discarded the old Orange Plan, replacing it with a new 
strategy called Rainbow Plan i. This was rapidly expanded un 
til there were five Rainbow Plans. They were laid before the 
President six weeks before the European war started. The old 
Orange Plan had contemplated war with only one nation and 
in one area Japan but the new strategy squarely faced the 
proposition of a war fought simultaneously against more than 
one enemy and in several theatres. Eventually Rainbow 5 was 
chosen as the working plan that would best meet the enlarged 
possibility. By this time it had the secret cooperation of the 

Almost four years had now slipped by since MacArthur s ar 
rival in Manila yet no single move of consequence had been 
made by Washington to assist him in building a great reservoir 
of manpower. Since the summer of 1937 the Japanese had been 
openly at war with Chiang Kai-shek, and the invading armies 
had slowly overrun mbst of the coastal areas and captured many 
important cities of China. A puppet government was established 
at Nanking on the Yangtze. 

But a strongly conservative and pacifist group in Japan op 
posed the war party. Joseph C. Grew, the American ambassa 
dor in Tokyo, likewise exercised a steadying influence for 

a peaceful settlement of the Japanese invasion of China, and 
for an avoidance of war between the United States and Japan. 
America s strong protective arm still remained around Chiang 
Kai-shek s shoulder, but Washington apparently was so steamed 
up in its hate of Hitler, and in its fervor to preserve Britain s 
empire, that there was neither time nor mood for any real at 
tempt at conciliation with Japan. 

MacArthur could do nothing more than to watch the darken 
ing war clouds gather over both Europe and the China Seas. 
He was fully alert to the possible consequences of the Russian- 
German Treaty of August 23, 1939, which left both Germany 
and Russia free of the handicap of having immediately to fight 
a two-front war. Russia in her own time could attack her help 
less western neighbors. 

Hitler s attack on Poland came September i, 1939, the day 
that George Marshall became Chief of Staff. At once he and 
his War Planning Board were faced with the problem of 
swiftly enlarging the American Army, building up war pro 
duction and vastly increasing the size of the Air Corps. But 
there was still a strong isolationist sentiment throughout the 
country and it was consistently reflected in the Congress. 

A progressive change of sentiment came after May 10, when 
the German Army swiftly overran Belgium and France and 
drove the British Army in complete rout to the beaches of 
Dunkirk. Immediately the President and his military advisors 
faced the possibility of the French fleet going over to the Ger 
mans. And an even more startling hazard to consider was that 
Britain might be invaded, and the great British fleet either 
neutralized or forced to leave its home bases. 

On August 6, 1940, a group consisting of Admiral Robert L. 
Ghormley of the Navy, Major General George V. Strong .of the 
Army and Major General Delos C. Emmons, Commanding 
General of the Army s G.H.Q. Air Force, departed secretly 
for London. It was the direct forerunner of the historic staff 
conversations which began in Washington on January 29, 
1941, and lasted until March 27. 

The summer and fall of 1940 were filled with a series of 
disturbing events: the air blitz on England; the uncertainty of 
the Soviet moves after her sharing the spoils of Poland at the 


start of the war; the transfer of 50 over-age but reconditioned 
destroyers to Britain; and the growing threat of Japan. After 
the military disaster of May 1940 both France and Britain 
pleaded for immediate shipment of surplus war supplies. Pres 
ident Roosevelt even urged the sending to Britain of every 
other 6-17 bomber that was produced, but both Chief of Staff 
Marshall and General H. H. Arnold, chief of the Air Corps, 
succeeded in having the ratio reduced. 

The matter of turning over army surplus to the British 
was placed in the hands of Secretary of the Treasury Henry 
Morgenthau, Jr., whose subsequent actions were opposed by 
Secretary of War Woodring. Some 550 75-mm. guns had al 
ready been declared surplus and assigned to Britain, when on 
June 11, 1940, a second lot of 500 cannon being requested, 
the order for their delivery was issued by Secretary Morgen 
thau. There were requests, too, for large amounts of small- 
arms ammunition. 

About this time the Secretary of War received a message 
from the White House asking him to pass upon a proposal for 
additional aid to Great Britain. Woodring considered the ful 
fillment of the request inadvisable, and without stating his 
own opinions he asked General Marshall to study the problem 
and advise him promptly. 

General Marshall took up the pressing matter with his G-4, 
whose answer was brief and to the point: "No guns should be 
declared surplus, obsolete, or placed in any other category 
that would render them available for sale. ... It would take 
two years for production to catch up with requirements." 

This was a part of the study Marshall handed to the har 
assed Secretary of War, which the latter marked " Approved, 
Harry H. Woodring," and sent post haste to the White 
House. A copy was dispatched to the Secretary of the Treasury, 
who was still handling Allied war purchases. 

A few hours later a letter came from the President saying 
that since Woodring s refusal to approve the arms proposal for 
Britain showed that he was not in sympathy with the admin 
istration s policies, he desired his resignation. Woodring re 
plied with an angry letter in which he indicted the national 
defense and the financial policies of the administration. He in- 

sisted that he had always been willing to help the Allies and 
had done so up to the point where such action jeopardized his 
own country s security. 

Woodring recited the history of his consistent efforts to ob 
tain adequate funds for preparedness and how always there had 
been sharp cuts made in his estimates, although the President 
had asked and received heavy grants for many WPA programs. 
He insisted that the billions now being spent would not mean 
adequate defense tomorrow, and that since it would take two 
years to be ready for war, prudence dictated that the govern 
ment should avoid being drawn into a conflict until America 
was ready. The Secretary ended by saying that his resignation 
would take place at the close of office hours that afternoon. 

When Woodring told General Marshall of his resignation, 
the Chief of Staff is said to have replied: "I am stunned. But 
I want you to know that you have been made the victim in 
place of the General Staff, which you have constantly supported 
and protected." 

President Roosevelt subsequently tried to smooth out Wood- 
ring s bitterness but failed, even with the offer of an ambas 
sadorship. A few days later, on June 19, 1940, Henry L. Stim- 
son, ardent Republican interventionist and anti-Japanese 
extremist, was appointed Secretary of War. General Marshall 
saw that either he himself must ask for immediate relief as 
Chief of Staff or comply with the Commander-in-Chief in the 
White House and with the new Secretary of War now em 
barked on the road to certain war. He chose the latter course. 

Almost simultaneously with the coming to the War Depart 
ment of Stimson, who had been Mr. Hoover s Secretary of 
State, it was announced that the Republican vice-presidential 
nominee in the 1936 campaign, Frank Knox, had accepted the 
appointment as Secretary of the Navy. Both appointments were 
shrewd and disturbing political moves. 

Into the advancing maelstrom of war there was now injected 
Roosevelt s fight for a third term. The isolationist groups were 
joined by a considerable element opposed to the idea of a 
third term, and still others were bitterly against the New Deal 
policies both at home and abroad. Roosevelt met the anti-war 
voters head on with the unequivocal pledge, made in a final 


speech in Boston, that no American boy would be sent to fight 
abroad, adding the famous refrain "I say it again, and again 
and again." 

Meanwhile General MacArthur, absorbed in the problems 
that confronted him in the Philippines, almost 10,000 miles 
away, had long had his own definite ideas about New Deal 
policies. He was now retired from the Army and free to com 
ment. On December 29, 1939, he wrote to an army friend in 
the States that he considered that the greatest disaster that 
could possibly visit the world would be Roosevelt s re-elec 
tion as President of the United States. 

MacArthur realized fully the dangers of the President s war 
policy. For America, it was not so much a matter of drifting 
into intervention in Europe as being definitely pushed toward 
that end by the administration itself. Here in Manila, lying 
athwart the sea roads leading from Japan to the rich war re 
sources of Malaya and the Dutch East Indies, he could not 
help realizing the oblivion that awaited him. No single move 
had been made in his behalf. He had been completely aban 
doned and neglected. Already Europe and Hitler were marked 
as the No. i concern of the administration, and the far Pa 
cific and American obligations there were pushed to the rear. 

By the latter part of 1940, General Marshall and his War Plans 
Division (WPD) with White House pressure behind them 
were deep in the problem of hurriedly increasing the armed 
strength of the nation. On August 27 the National Guard was 
voted into federal service for one year, and on September 16 a 
Selective Service Act of a single year s duration was passed by 
Congress. Both were subject to the definite commitment that 
no troops would be sent to foreign countries outside the con 
tinental limits of the United States. War factories were be 
ginning to turn out quantities of arms and equipment, 
training camps were springing up, and considerable progress 
toward a real defense was being made. 

In October 1940 Churchill dispatched a message to Roose 
velt requesting that an American naval squadron be sent to 

Singapore. Both Admiral H. R. Stark and General Marshall 
opposed the request on the ground that it might provoke ac 
tion by Japan. But the dictum by Stark that "the vital theatre 
is the Eastern Atlantic, and the Western Pacific a secondary 
one" met the avowed approval o Marshall. The British con 
ception that Germany was "the principal foe, with Japan as the 
one to be fully disposed of at a later date" had been accepted 
by the American chiefs of the armed services. There was no 
place in the high councils of power in Washington for anyone 
who opposed this fiat. The order had come straight down 
from the White House, and behind it stood the tremendous 
influence that Churchill already wielded on the President and 
on Harry Hopkins and others of the Inner Circle. 

MacArthur s role apparently had been reduced to little more 
than that of a trainer of Philippine draftees. Militarily starved 
as he was, his deepest concern was for his country s preparedness. 

In answer to a cable sent by William Allen White, chairman 
of the group called Defend America by Aiding the Allies, he em 
phasized the two fatal words that ran like a dark thread of 
doom through the pattern of all American military history: 

You have asked my military opinion as to whether the time 
has come for America to give continued and further aid to Eng 
land, in the fight for civilization. The history of failure in war 
can almost always be summed up in two words too late. Too 
late in comprehending the deadly power of the potential enemy. 
Too late in preparedness. Too late in uniting all possible forces 
for resistance. Too late in standing by one s friends. 

The greatest strategic mistake in all history will be made if 
America fails to recognize this vital moment, if she permits again 
the writing of that fatal epitaph too late. 

In June 1940 Major General George Grunert was sent to 
command the Department of the Philippines. He immediately 
began forwarding requests for more personnel, anti-aircraft de 
fense, ammunition and war equipment. In the months of July 
and August alone he dispatched to Washington eight separate 
warnings and urgent recommendations. On September i he 
wrote personally to General Marshall explaining that a de 
featist attitude was growing in the Philippines to the point 


where it was strongly believed that the United States had actu 
ally abandoned the idea of defending the Islands. 

General Grunert, an old friend of General MacArthur, was 
in full sympathy with the broad conception of the Philippine 
Army that MacArthur had been building under such trying 
handicaps. With Grunert s early recommendations that a strong 
air force and submarine fleet be based in the Philippines, he 
suggested that 500 American officers be assigned to help train 
the Philippine Army units. After some delay 75 officers came. 

As for actual help for the Islands, General Marshall and the 
White House now lagged far behind the War Plans Division 
of the General Staff. As early as March 1940 the WPD recom 
mended that the Philippine force be augmented by a compos 
ite air wing, a regular army infantry division, an anti-aircraft 
regiment and additional harbor defense troops. Disinter 
est, confusion, lack of trained men and equipment, and the 
fear of Hitler overrunning Britain cancelled out these recom 

It was not until December 26, 1940, that Army Chief of 
Staff Marshall approved a War Plans Division recommendation 
that the Philippine Scouts, an integral part of the U. S. regular 
forces, be increased from 6,000 to 12,000, along with addi 
tions to the old gist Infantry Regiment and the two Coast 
Artillery regiments, and a small increase in anti-aircraft guns. 

Early in February 1941 Marshall ordered that some 60 offi 
cers due to return home after their regular tour of duty in the 
Islands be held there, and that the wives and families of Army 
personnel be sent back to the States. Since MacArthur had long 
been retired from active service the order did not affect the 
residence there of Mrs. MacArthur and little Arthur. 

Shortly before this, MacArthur decided to address a personal 
letter to the Chief of Staff. It was in the nature of an opening 
wedge, and fully outlined his plans for a Philippine Army and 
what he hoped to do with it. But the immediate result of this 
was nil. 

Along about April of 1941 MacArthur could no longer stand 
the ambiguous state of his abandonment. With complete 
humility he wrote a letter to Steve Early, press secretary and 
trusted advisor to the President. Early had been an old friend 

of MacArthur s from the days before America s entry into 
World War I, when his newspaper beat had been the War De 
partment. He had been one of the reporters who in 1917 had 
signed the letter to Secretary of War Baker praising the work 
of Major Douglas MacArthur, then press censor. 

MacArthur asked Early to take up with the President the 
idea of recalling MacArthur to active service. The General 
would be glad to undertake any assignment that might be 
given him, but he pointed out that all the Army forces in 
the Far East should be consolidated into a single command. 
In this his concern was for his country and for the fate of the 
Islands, and not for any petty personal ambition. To him the 
situation was desperate. Yet he got no direct reply. 

On May 29 he addressed a letter to Marshall. Three weeks 
went by before Marshall answered. The vagueness of his letter 
could hardly have satisfied MacArthur. The Marshall letter 
read in part: 

Both the Secretary of War and I are much concerned about 
the situation in the Far East. During one of our discussions about 
three months ago it was decided that your outstanding qualifica 
tions and vast experience in the Philippines make you the logical 
choice for the Army Commander in the Far East should the situa 
tion approach a crisis. The Secretary has delayed recommending 
your appointment as he does not feel the time has arrived for 
such action. However, he has authorized me to tell you that, at 
the proper time, he will recommend to the President that you 
be so appointed. It is my impression that the President will ap 
prove his recommendation. 

It was probably shortly before he received this letter that 
MacArthur wrote his second letter to Steve Early. The tenor 
of this note expressed a conviction that he was not to be re 
called. Consequently he had decided shortly to leave the Is 
lands and go to San Antonio, Texas. Apparently his usefulness 
was ended. 

When there was no immediate reply, he actually ordered 
Dick Marshall, his deputy chief of staff on the mission, to se 
cure transportation on the first available steamer. But matters 
of far greater significance were in the making. 

On June 22, 1941, Hitler, against the advice of his best 


generals, plunged into the limitless reaches of Russia. Fear and 
hate of the Nazis left little room for cool appraisal of the situ 
ation by the civil and military leaders in Washington. Even 
professional military opinion was that the Soviets would col 
lapse in from three to six weeks. 

So it was that the Russian invasion, instead of bringing a re 
lease from pressure sounding Britain s early doom, created a 
panic-stricken belief that in a matter of weeks Russia would 
be knocked out, and the triumphant Hitler would turn either 
westward and attempt the invasion of England, or southward 
to the Middle East and cut the life lines of the British Empire. 
The fall of the Empire would then be assured. 

On July 13 Harry Hopkins flew to London on a secret mis 
sion for President Roosevelt that was certain to involve Amer 
ica still more deeply in European intervention. A few days la 
ter, while Hitler s tank divisions were rolling toward Moscow 
and Leningrad, Hopkins started a hazardous air journey to 
Moscow and immediately began making plans with the Red 
leaders to include them in the Lend-Lease program, backed by 
a promise of every possible aid from the United States. As a 
consequence of this new commitment, and of Hopkins later 
optimistic report that Russia might hold out, the situation soon 
became even less favorable for substantial reinforcing of the 
Philippines. Russia would now share the American largesse 
with Britain. 

As part of the sequence of events that were to affect the Phil 
ippine situation, Harry Hopkins on his return by air from 
his Moscow trip joined Prime Minister Churchill on the bat 
tleship Prince of Wales. Together they crossed the Atlantic to 
the sea conference with Roosevelt and his military and naval 
advisors. It was the first time that the "former naval person" 
and the President were face to face. 

In this secret sea meeting in August 1941, Roosevelt made 
definite mutual commitments with Churchill that either would 
go to the help of the other if Japan attacked the United States, 
Britain or a third country (the Netherlands) in the Pacific. 

It had long been certain that America s entrance into the 
struggle against Germany would cause Japan to declare war 

against the United States, since the island empire had publicly 
announced such a course o action on April 21, 1941, shortly 
after she signed a non-aggression pact with Russia. 

Previous to this on September 28, 1940, Japan had signed a 
Tripartite Treaty with Germany and Italy, in which it was 
agreed that the three nations would go to war against any na 
tion not then a participant in the European war or the Sino- 
Japanese war that attacked any one of the three. Obviously this 
was aimed directly against America. If the United States en 
gaged in war against Japan, America would automatically be 
involved in war against Germany and Italy. 

At this time there were still strong peace elements active in 
Tokyo that tried consistently throughout most of 1941 to find 
some way to conciliate Washington and avoid war. But what 
Washington wanted was not conciliation bu some means of 
getting into the war against Hitler. The interventionists were 
doing their level best. Germany was offered insult and re 
peated provocations but she refused to press any retaliation. 

On July 25, 1941, apparently in answer to Japan s intrusion 
into Indo-China, an executive order from President Roose 
velt broke off all trade relations with Japan, and Great Britain 
and the Netherlands concurred in the stringent restrictions that 
meant the virtual economic strangling of Japan. 

The fact that Russia was now cast as an ally of Great Britain 
immediately changed the status of Stalin in the eyes of the 
administration. Overnight the official propaganda shifted its 
slant on the Russian dictator and his American Communists 
and fellow travelers. The official Communist line turned 
squarely from urging the country to stay out of the European 
war at all costs to strong pleas that America must now enter 
this great fight to save democracy. 

Russia had shrewdly played her cards in the great war game, 
particularly in the way she had used her Red agents and their 
accomplices in molding and directing Washington opinion. 
She had helped to turn Japan s ambitions southward to 
ward the priceless loot of Southeastern Asia and the lower 
Pacific. She had tried to pit embittered America against Japan 
rather than against Hitler, but now with her former Nazi ally 


charging across her own European borders, she was desperately 
concerned in her attempt to get America into the world strug 
gle by bringing about a Japanese-American war. 

The spade work had long been under way. The pro-British, 
pro-internationalist, anti-Hitler groups were all ready to accept 
Stalin. Back from his costly mission to Moscow, Harry Hopkins, 
the President s most intimate advisor, is reported to have said: 
"It is ridiculous to think of Stalin as a Communist. He is a 
Russian nationalist/ 

Sometime in the middle of July 1941 a two-line cable was 
brought to MacArthur. It was signed by Major General 
Watson, the President s military aide and confidant but still 
devoted to MacArthur. The gist of it was that MacArthur was 
to take no steps to leave the Philippines until he heard further 
from Watson. 

A few days later, as MacArthur was eating breakfast on the 
Sunday morning of July 27, Manila time, he noted a small 
box in the lower left-hand corner of the Manila Tribune, an 
nouncing that the native Philippine Army was being called to 
the colors under the command of a lieutenant general. 

A second item of exciting news was a cabled report that 
30,000 Japanese troops had landed in Saigon, the capital of 
French Indo-China. 

An hour or two later a wire was brought to him with the 
single word "Congratulations." It was signed Lehrbas, an 
old newspaper friend from the Washington days. 

Then two more cables arrived. One was an open message 
stating the President of the United States had ordered the Phil 
ippine Army mobilized under MacArthur, who was to as 
sume the rank of lieutenant general, as soon as. Congress could 
grant the authority. Later MacArthur learned that the Presi 
dent had waited until he left for Hyde Park and was well 
away from the War Department and General Marshall before 
he had personally directed the sending of the cables. 

The second cable was signed Marshall. It spelled out the de 
tails of the new assignment: 

Effective this date there is hereby constituted a command desig 
nated as the United States Army Forces in the Far East. This 
command will include the Philippine Department, forces of the 
Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines called into 
the service of the armed forces of the United States for the period 
of the existing emergency, and such other forces as may be desig 
nated to it. Headquarters of the United States Army Forces in 
the Far East will be established in Manila, Philippine Islands. 
You are hereby designated as Commanding General, United 
States Army Forces in the Far East. . . . 

So uncertainty was over. MacArthur would do his best to 
make up for lost time and for the neglect and indecision 
that had been meted out to him by Washington. It would not 
be easy. 

As yet he could have had no inkling of any possible Wash 
ington-London plan that would eventually lead to abandon 
ing the Philippines to their fate, while the U. S. Far Eastern 
Fleet pulled out of Manila Bay and attempted to save British 
interests in Malaya, Burma and India, along with the Dutch 
East Indies. MacArthur had no full reports of the secret talks 
and agreements arrived at between Britain and America dur 
ing the Atlantic Charter meeting at sea or at the several ear 
lier top secret sessions of the armed services of the two coun 
tries held in London. Not for a moment could he conceive the 
idea that his country might turn her back on her sacred obli 
gations in the Pacific. 


MacArthur lost no time in starting the ball rolling on that Sun 
day morning of July 27, 1941. He put in a call for Dick Suth- 


erland, and when he found that he had left for the golf 
course, he telephoned Deputy Chief of Staff Dick Marshall to 
round up Sutherland and bring him over as quickly as possi 

As soon as the two officers arrived at the penthouse of the 
Manila Hotel, they went to work. To start with, there would 
have to be a greatly enlarged staff. Then there must be worked 
out the hundred and one problems of constructing large 
training centers, forming the platoon and company units of the 
Philippine Army into battalions, then regiments and finally 
into divisions. MacArthur s plan for the defense of the Phil 
ippines had not yet reached a 50% fruition. Immediately req 
uisitions must be sent to the War Department for guns, am 
munition, equipment, specialist troops, officers and money. 

Within an hour President Quez6n telephoned that he was 
leaving for the hotel, and MacArthur and his two senior offi 
cers hurried to meet him at the entrance. Quez6n, his eyes 
bright with courage and hope, impulsively put his arm around 
his old comrade. 

"All we have, all that we are, is yours," he said dramatically. 

MacArthur and his assistants got an additional lift when they 
read in the Manila papers of August 13 that the American 
Congress had finally passed the Extension of the Draft Act that 
kept the draftees, as well as the National Guard outfits, in fed 
eral service for an additional year. The bill had squeezed 
through the Lower House by a vote of 203 to 202. 

There were now 27 infantry, 6 armored and 2 cavalry 
divisions in various degrees of training in the States, of which 
4 infantry and 2 armored were fully trained and ready to be 
shipped anywhere. Certainly there would no longer be any 
question of lack of trained men and special units for reinforce 
ments for the Islands. Surely MacArthur s pleadings for more 
troops would be answered now. 

Early in August the War Plans Division of the Army recom 
mended sending out a National Guard anti-aircraft regiment 
and a complete infantry division and increasing the several 
American units already in the Philippines. There were sug 
gestions for 50 pursuit planes and some 31 light bombers 
and a number of items of special equipment. General Mar- 

shall s office promptly disapproved sending the infantry divi 
sion but substituted an additional tank battalion and a 
maintenance company. 

War supplies were actually beginning to flow westward, but 
only the most enthusiastic would have called them more than 
a trickle as compared with the lend-lease shipments going to 
Britain, and those that soon would be en route for Murmansk 
on the dangerous sea voyage to North Russia. But some help 
was on the way, and hope returned that if war with Japan 
could be held off for as little as six months, MacArthur 
would have some 125,000 Filipino trainees armed, fairly well 
trained and incorporated into divisions and in position to op 
pose Japanese landings. From the start of the mission MacAr- 
thur s plan had revolved around the theory that his task was 
to provide manpower capable of assisting in defense during 
the period of transition from commonwealth to republic. Until 
that date the main responsibility for the defense of the Islands 
was definitely American. But Washington had failed to honor 
this obligation, refusing MacArthur real help of any kind. 

Throughout August of 1941 there was no hour of rest for 
MacArthur s harassed staff. On the 15th of the month the small 
Philippine air force was inducted into the U. S. service by Gen 
eral MacArthur personally. "Only those are fit to live who are 
not afraid to die/ he told the little group of Filipino pilots 
and ground men. 

By September i a number of enlarged training camps were 
ready, and on that day twelve Filipino regiments were 
inducted into federal service. Reinforcements and supplies, 
now arriving from the United States, included 425 reserve 
officers, who were immediately assigned to the new units. Req 
uisitions had already been made for 246 additional officers 
from the rank of major to general. 

It was evident that the Army War Plans Division in Wash 
ington had a keener appreciation of the Philippine situation 
and its needs than the Chief of Staff and his office: at least it 
was less inhibited by secret plans and commitments to Britain 
and Russia. A number of times its urgent recommendations 
were pushed aside by General Marshall or at best only partially 
adopted. On October 13 the WPD submitted to the Chief 


of Staff a memorandum on Command in the Pacific, in which it 
compared the growing strength of MacArthur army forces with 
the weakness of American naval units. The War Plans Divi 
sion recommended that all U. S. forces there be put under 
command of General MacArthur, and that the Navy be asked 
to accept the plan. The only result of that memorandum was 
a skeptical comment written on it by Colonel Walter Bedell 
Smith, Marshall s special aide, and one word added by the 
Chief of Staff, "Hold!" 

Even before MacArthur had been called back into active serv 
ice he had sent suggestions to the War Department showing 
how the old Orange Plan, which considered only the holding of 
the Manila Bay area, could be enlarged into an over-all plan 
that would include the protection of the principal Philippine 
Islands from an invader. He now proposed a daring air idea 
which, with sufficient time and will to carry it out, would not 
only make the Philippines practically invulnerable to invasion 
but would change the whole strategic conception from one of 
defense to one of offense. Heavy 6-17 bombers, based on the 
Islands and properly supported, could present an assault threat 
to Japan and her sea lanes to the southward that could actu 
ally stymie her war dreams. 

This was an imaginative plan that undoubtedly caught the 
fancy of President Roosevelt, as well as General H. H. (Hap) 
Arnold of the Army Air Corps. It called for building a com 
plete air arm, with heavy and light bombardment, augmented 
by ample dive bombers and protective fighters, and based on a 
string of air fields stretching the 700 or 800 miles from lower 
Mindanao to upper Luzon, with shops, supply depots, air- 
warning devices and all the accessories of a completely modern 
and efficient air arm. 

Time was the all-important factor; time to build both the 
necessary ground defenses, and the air force itself; time to 
consolidate an air route from Australia, northward through the 
Dutch Islands and Malaya to Mindanao and then on to Manila; 
time and planes and weapons and above all else, the will-to- 

win here in the Western Pacific. No one doubted that MacAr- 
thur had this last qualification. There was still little proof that 
it had been matched, as far as the Western Pacific was con 
cerned, anywhere in the War Department or in the Chief of 
Staff s office in Washington. 

At least the whole picture of help for the Philippines under 
went a great change for the better by the end of September. 
MacArthur was informed of the approval of his plan to close 
the narrow straits that led to the Visayan Sea in the central 
area of the Islands by mounting heavy guns at the several en 
trances. He was to go ahead with his plans to integrate the air 
defenses of the Philippines with Australia, the Dutch East In 
dies and Singapore. But there was still a reckless disregard for 
dates and timing. One particular War Department plan for aid 
ended its proposals with the completely unrealistic suggestion 
tfiat: "This augmentation to be commenced about April 1942 
and to be completed about October 1943." 

The Army Air Corps threw itself into the perilous task with 
high enthusiasm. The first nine of the new 6-175 landed at 
Clark Field, 65 miles north of Manila, early in October 1941. 
Shortly afterwards 50 P-4oE pursuit planes were unloaded at, 
Manila, and Air Corps ground personnel disembarked. 

But still no driving will-to-win had appeared in Washington 
in army ground force circles when it came to help for Mac- 
Arthur. In the United States there were now 1,400,000 soldiers 
in various degrees of training. The Louisiana exercises alone 
had given final polish to some 400,000 soldiers. And there 
were vast quantities of tanks and guns and equipment of all 
kinds rolling out of the factories. Lack of Pacific shipping still 
offered a definite sea roadblock, since Britain and Russia had 
highest priorities. Yet the threat of war with Japan was con 
stant, and nothing of a realistic nature was being done to dis 
courage her. 

On October 5 Major General Lewis H. Brereton of the 
Army Air Corps was brought to Washington from Florida and 
was informed by General Arnold that MacArthur had asked 
for him to command the Far Eastern air force, now being or 
ganized. He was told that ultimately there would be four bom 
bardment groups and five fighter groups which would give 


him by the middle of 1942, 170 heavy bombers, 86 dive bomb 
ers and a total of 195 pursuit planes. In time he would have 
the necessary air-warning installations and the various ground 
units, mobile air depots and other special services. Brereton was 
skeptical when he left General Arnold s office and reported 
to General Marshall. The Chief of Staff gave him a fill-in, em 
phasizing the new strategic concept for the Islands. Marshall 
showed him prepared studies and had him read the report by 
MacArthur that gave him the big picture. Later Brereton was 
handed a secret sealed letter marked Tor General MacAr 
thur *s eyes only." 

Brereton was still skeptical. He pointed out to the Chief of 
Staff that if the situation in the Far East became critical the 
presence of a strong and unprotected force of 6-175 might so 
aggravate the tension that this air threat, instead of acting as a 
deterrent to war, might actually spark a Japanese decision 
to attack. There had been little or no effort in Washington at 
secrecy in this sudden decision to build up the American air 
and ground power in the Philippines. It was a peculiar and un 
accountable procedure thus blatantly to advertise the reinforce 
ments now being hurried to the Manila Bay area. It was al 
most as if Washington were actually inviting Japan to attack the 
Philippines before the Islands could be made strong enough to 
resist invasion. Common sense seemingly would have dictated 
that utmost secrecy be used in this dangerous enterprise. 

Brereton asked Marshall how much time he would have and 
what was the War Department s estimate when Japan might be 
expected to attack. He was told that it was the opinion of the 
High Command that hostilities would probably not begin be 
fore April i, 1942. By that time the required air reinforce 
ments and auxiliaries would be in place, and MacArthur s army 
ground requirements would be completed. 

It was now early October of 1941; but April i, 1942, when 
MacArthur would be fully prepared, was still almost six 
months off. Even six months was little enough to do the job. 


On November 3 Brereton arrived in Manila on the Clipper 
from Guam. He reported at once to MacArthur s headquarters 
and then with Chief of Staff Sutherland was driven to the Ma 
nila Hotel where MacArthur lived. His welcome was most cor 
dial. Brereton turned over the confidential letter from Gen 
eral Marshall. MacArthur read it and his eyes sparkled. 

"Dick/ 1 he exclaimed to Sutherland, pounding his desk in a 
characteristic gesture, "they are going to give us everything 
we have asked for." 

Once again came up that fatal date of April i, 1942. It had 
at least been partially sold to MacArthur, too. It was a conveni 
ent target day to use here in the far-away Islands, where the 
threat of war was so near at hand and the chances of defeat so 
strong. Yet it seems incomprehensible that MacArthur, the 
realist, could actually have believed that Japan would accom 
modate her future enemies by giving them five more peaceful 
months to build a great air and ground force for both defense 
and potential assault against her. But it can be assumed that 
he knew almost nothing of the underlying machinations in 
Washington. Morale here in the Islands was already shaky and 
this promise of time was priceless in helping him to instill a 
mood of confidence and a fighting spirit. 

MacArthur, clearly, was thinking how air bases in Australia 
and the Dutch Indies and Malaya must be integrated into 
Philippine defense for the coming war. Three days after Brere- 
ton s arrival MacArthur sent him on a swift survey of friendly 
fields as far south as Rabaul, Lae and Port Moresby in New 
Guinea. When Brereton returned, MacArthur was far less op 
timistic about the time element than before. The startling se 
quence of events indicated clearly that instead of any attempt 
at conciliation, Washington was laying down terms that Japan 
could accept only by withdrawing completely from her con 
quests in China and in the Far East. 

On October 17 the bitter, uncompromising War Minister 
To jo had replaced the far more reasonable Prince Konoye as 
Japanese Premier. On November 18 Special Envoy Kurusu 
caught the China Clipper at Manila, en route for Washington. 


That night MacArthur, still the realist, said to his intimate 
staff: "I know this fellow Kurusu. He s been completely dis 
credited in Tokyo, and his being sent to Washington now 
means he is to take part in some dirty job. This may be it." 

November 4 had considerable local significance for the wor 
ried people of Manila; early in the afternoon the 4th Marine 
Regiment arrived straight from the Japanese hotbed of Shang 
hai. As Commander-in-Chief of the Army forces, MacArthur 
could not help but wish that the fine regiment could be under 
him instead of being a part of Admiral Hart s command. 

On this same November 4 Secretary of State Gordell Hull, 
himself an interventionist, told the Cabinet in Washington that 
the conversations with the Japanese representatives were going 
badly. On November 7 he reiterated that there seemed every 
possibility of early war with Japan. 

November 7 was to assume the greatest importance. At a 
Cabinet meeting that day President Roosevelt solemnly polled 
the several secretaries as to whether they believed the Ameri 
can people would follow him into a war if Japan attacked. The 
vote was unanimously in the affirmative. 

The fate of Russia hung largely on the fact that Hitler s 
forces besieging both Moscow and Leningrad were shortly to 
face what turned out to be the hardest Russian winter in many 
years. Britain was incessant in her pleas for America s active 
participation in the European war. Hitler must come first, she 
insisted: then she would throw her full weight in the Pacific 
war. But all the propaganda forces of the administration, 
coupled with those of the interventionists, who now ranged 
from Communist agents and their Red sympathizers to the in 
tensely pro-British, Republican Cabinet members Stimson and 
Knox, still could not arouse the American people to accept 
ing a war with Germany. This left an attack by Japan as the 
only possible and sure-fire way to draw America into the war in 

For some time a fairly large proportion of the American fleet 
had been stationed in the Atlantic. The remainder, save the 
small Far Eastern squadron, had been directed personally by the 
President to base in Pearl Harbor. Admiral James Otto Rich 
ardson had protested violently, stating that the fleet was vul- 

nerable at Pearl Harbor and besides was undermanned and un 
prepared for war and should be pulled back to the Pacific 
Coast until it was brought up to battle strength. For this pro 
test he was relieved of command in January 1941. Admiral 
Husband E. Kimmel replaced Richardson, and in March he was 
forced to send to the Atlantic three battleships, one aircraft 
carrier, four light cruisers and eighteen destroyers. Of Kimmel s 
three remaining carriers, one was sent to a Pacific Coast drydock 
for overhauling in the fall of 1941. 

The Washington policy played directly into the hands of 
Japanese militarists. Japan *s military intrusion in China and 
subsequently into Indo-China had made her the whipping boy 
for the men around the White House who wanted war. Appar 
ently no offers by Japan, even the pledge to withdraw from 
the Tripartite Treaty with Germany and Italy and a virtual 
withdrawal from all southern China, had any effect on the 
Washington crowd. The voices of Churchill, Stalin and Roose 
velt and the great propaganda machine insistently demanding 
America s entry into the war were apparently too powerful to 

On November 13 MacArthur read the report of Navy Secre 
tary Knox s speech, warning of the grave national peril ahead. 
That same day a meeting of the operations chiefs of the vari 
ous armed services in Washington decided on the necessity or 
at least the gesture of pushing forward by a full month the 
troop movement scheduled for the Philippines. Reinforce 
ments that were to be sent to Manila in January were ordered 
to be shipped in December. Certain anti-aircraft guns and am 
munition earmarked for Hawaii and Panama were directed to 
be re-routed to Manila. 

MacArthur felt now that there had finally come to the 
Washington leaders a new sense of their responsibility to the 
Philippines. It seemed apparent that Washington was genu 
inely concerned in pushing reinforcements across the Pacific. 
Shipping was still a problem, but the guns, planes, men and 
supplies were at last rolling westward. MacArthur had been 
cabled that on December i alone 19,000 troops were scheduled 
to leave San Francisco for Manila. 

Some weird sense of unreality seemed still to affect General 


Marshall. How much he was influenced by secret White House 
orders and commitments may never be known. Certain of his 
actions were unexplainable. At an important staff meeting on 
November 26 the official notes of the conference, reporting an 
over-all statement by the Chief of Staff, read: 

While the President and Mr. Hull anticipate a possible assault 
on the Philippines, General Marshall said that he did not see 
this as a probability because the hazards would be too great for 
the Japanese. . . . 

The War Plans Division s recommendation for a unified 
Philippine command under General MacArthur, which had 
been shoved aside and marked "Hold" by the Chief of Staff, 
now assumed a certain significance. The order to delay the 
decision not only went against every modern conception of the 
need for unity of command in a field of operation, but it 
forced MacArthur openly to oppose the demands of Admiral 
Thomas C. Hart in Manila Bay that tactical command by the 
Navy was necessary over Army Air Corps elements when they 
were operating in conjunction with the Navy. In plain words, 
this meant that in any joint Navy-Air action the Navy would 
be in over-all command. The proposal was forwarded to Wash 
ington with MacArthur s comment that it was "entirely objec 
tionable * to him. 

The Army War Plans Division supported MacArthur, and 
there was a lively exchange of cables and hurried conferences 
in Washington. Strangely enough General Marshall seemed far 
more disturbed over the Navy s unfavorable reaction than over 
MacArthur s. As late as November 28 Marshall tersely cabled 

I was disturbed to receive your note of November 7 transmit 
ting correspondence between Hart and yourself. I was more dis 
turbed when Stark sent over to me your letter to him of October 
18. However, your cable of November 28 stating "intimate liaison 
and cooperation and cordial relations exist between Army and 
Navy" was reassuring. . . . 


In Washington the diplomatic crisis was moving toward a final 
showdown. On November 20 the Japanese envoys presented 
what was virtually their last attempt at conciliation. 

Six days later Secretary Hull answered with his Ten Points, 
which if accepted would mean the total eclipse of Japan in 
Asia. War was certain from this key date of November 26, 
1941. On the following morning a report of "hostile action pos 
sible at any moment" was sent to MacArthur. It was the first 
of several war warnings dispatched from Washington, and Mac- 
Arthur acted upon them at once. 

He had at that moment as the hard core of his defense a to 
tal of 2,504 officers and 28,591 enlisted men in the United 
States Regular Army establishment. Of this last figure, 16,634 
were Americans and 11,957 were finely trained Filipino Scouts, 
who years before had been incorporated into the regular U. S. 
forces. Of the enlisted total of 16,634 Americans, 4,940 be 
longed to the air force. The only Regular Army infantry regi 
ment on the Islands was the reliable 3ist Infantry, which had 
seen service in the Siberian Expedition toward the end of 
World War I and during the Japanese occupation there. The 
remainder of the Americans, outside the National Guard anti 
aircraft tank and special artillery units, were assigned to the 
harbor defense, based for the most part on Corregidor. 

The gist, with two Scout regiments and artillery units, com 
prised the Philippine Division. The Philippine Division with 
the 26th Cavalry and the small First Regular Division of the 
Philippine Army, built around former constabulary troops, 
made up the only seasoned holding forces MacArthur had with 
which to meet a determined invasion. 

Besides these few well-armed and well-trained troops he had 
a total of something more than 110,000 men of the Philippine 
National Army. One regiment of each native division had had 
three months 7 regimental training; another had two months; 
and the third regiment less than a month. These native divi 
sions had little or no artillery, and to the outfits on Luzon ar 
tillery and tank battalions were to be assigned from the head 
quarters pool as needed. 


All the ground forces under General MacArthur were 
grouped into five major commands. The most important, the 
North Luzon force, was assigned to Major General Jona 
than M. (Skinny) Wainwright, and while it consisted of three 
Philippine Army Reserve divisions its only seasoned troops 
were the 26th Cavalry and certain other small Scout out 
fits and a magnificent demolition group of engineers under 
Colonel Hugh J. Casey. This North force was assigned positions 
that would cover the landing beaches at Aparri and Vigan in 
the north, and the vulnerable shores of Lingayen Gulf, some 
no miles above Manila. 

It was evident to MacArthur that the first effort of the Japa 
nese would be to attack his small, quarter-built air force. From 
the days of the Billy Mitchell trial, almost fifteen years before 
this, he had held high the potential role of air power. But now 
he was fearful that his tiny force could not last long under the 
smothering attacks that the overwhelmingly larger Japanese 
air forces would lay down. 

As a precautionary measure he directed his chief of staff to 
base the 35 long-range bombers at Del Monte Field in the 
southern island of Mindanao. He was conscious of how small 
the protecting force of fighters was and how helpless the prac 
tically undefended Clark Field, with no dispersal areas, would 
be against heavy air attack. 

A record of MacArthur s exact air strength shows that he 
had 194 modern aircraft on hand, of which 107 were opera 
tional, or ready for combat. Only Clark Field could be consid 
ered modern, with a runway long enough to accommodate the 
6-175. At Del Monte there were two crude strips on which the 
Fortresses could land and take off, and the start had been made 
to build repair shops and supply depots, and within two or 
three months they would have a fairly modern bomber field. 
Up and down the almost i,ooo-mile-long chain of islands, sites 
for a score and more of fighter fields had been laid out, only 
Nichols Field outside Manila was near completion, and four or 

five others were far enough along to be classed as serviceable 
for fighters only. 

On the morning of December 7 there were eight U. S. troop 
ships bound for Manila with reinforcements that would have 
more than doubled the entire American-born forces there. 
They were bringing badly needed guns, ammunition, dive 
bombers and pursuit planes. In the sky lanes an entire addi 
tional bomber group of 30 B-iys was starting on the Pacific 
bomber route that led to the Islands. 

But even though the twin threat of "too little and too late" 
now thundered down on him, MacArthur was determined that 
he would still not be lost. If the Japanese suddenly struck these 
Islands, MacArthur, even with the little he had, could hold 
Corregidor and the entrance to Manila Bay for at least four 
months, time enough for American air power and the fleet to 
come to his relief. 

In Hawaii there were 57,000 ground and anti-aircraft troops 
and the finest planes America possessed, with complete warning 
installations and well-guarded fields. Here, too, the great Pa 
cific fleet was based. It seemed only reasonable that if the Phil 
ippines were suddenly attacked, there would sooner or later 
start from this Pacific Gibraltar an avenging sea and air ar 
mada that would be able to penetrate any Japanese blockade 
and bring MacArthur the tools of war and victory. 

With the ample warning sent him on November 27, Mac- 
Arthur calmly went about his final preparation. Every neces 
sary disposition was made. Every man and gun and plane was 
on the alert. Apparently there was nothing more that he could 

It was late on the Sunday night of December 7 (Manila 
time) when he turned out the light in his bedroom in the 
penthouse of the Manila Hotel. 

Tomorrow might well be the day. The Navy s communica 
tion center in the great tunnel on Corregidor had been fur 
nishing him with decoded Japanese intercepts that had been 
picked up between Tokyo and its Embassy in Washington. 
The messages were in the most secret of the Japanese codes 
and even without subsequent warnings from Washington it was 


clear to both General MacArthur and Admiral Hart that war 
was certain and would come at any moment. 

Both officers were well aware of the fact that Japan had 
started all three of her modern wars with surprise attacks: 
against China s helpless fleet in 1894; against Russia s Asiatic 
fleet at Port Arthur ten years later; and against the German 
stronghold at Tsingtao in Shantung province on the mainland 
of China in 1914. Each attack synchronized almost to a min 
ute with a formal declaration of war. It was recognized that a 
sudden surprise attack against a key spot was a fully under 
stood part of her war strategy. The only real uncertainty was 
where it would come. 

The ground forces in the Philippines might be assailed and 
forced back into their final prepared defenses, but certainly 
they would not be surprised. They were as ready as they could 
be with their inadequate defenses on this night of December 7, 
Manila time. 

[Thirteen years after the events occurred a remarkable book 
by Rear Admiral Robert A. Theobald, U.S.N. Ret., published 
by Devin-Adair, shed considerable new light on the highly con 
troversial question of just how America got into the war 
against Japan. It is titled The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor, 
and bears the sub-title, The Washington Contribution to the 
Japanese Attack. In a carefully documented defense of Ad 
miral Kimmel, the naval commander at Pearl Harbor, Theo 
bald piles up a vast amount of evidence that points to the as 
sumption that not only did President Roosevelt plot the war 
but it seems he must have been assisted in the secret plans 
of leaving Pearl Harbor open for surprise attack by both Ad 
miral Stark and General Marshall. Much of Theobald s case 
is based on the fact that of the eight U. S.-made Japanese Pur 
ple Machines that could decode the most secret of the Japa 
nese codes styled Magic, none had been sent to Pearl Harbor, 
although there was one in the Navy Communication center in 
Cavite, that was later moved to Corregidor, and one in London. 
It so happened, however, that the complicated machine in 
Manila Bay never worked properly, so neither Hart nor Mac- 
Arthur had the advantage of the secret messages sent between 
Tokyo and the Japanese Embassy in Washington. Among the 

messages decoded in Washington were the series from Tokyo 
directing Japanese agents in Hawaii to report constantly on 
the exact locations of the American warships in Pearl Har 
bor. The book points out that the unfortunate commanders 
were smeared and ruined in order to clear General Marshall, 
Admiral Stark and President Roosevelt of responsibility. The 
large share of credit for awakening the American public to the 
tragic origins of Pearl Harbor belongs to the masterful expos 
by George Morgenstern in Pearl Harbor: The Story of the Se 
cret War, followed later by Frederic R. Sanborn s Design for 


It was 3:40 on Monday morning, December 8, Manila time, 
when General MacArthur was awakened by the ringing of the 
special telephone on his night table. It was connected by direct 
wire to Dick Sutherland s office at i Victoria Street, where the 
chief of staff had been sleeping on an army cot for several 

"Jap planes are attacking Pearl Harbor/ 1 Sutherland tersely 

"Pearl Harbor?" MacArthur questioned incredulously. "Why 
that should be our strongest point!" 

He was assured that a commercial cable had substantiated 
the official report. Yet he could hardly believe that the vast 
sea- and air-screen around Hawaii could have been successfully 
penetrated by enemy bombers. 

The defenses at Pearl Harbor were far different from his 
own inadequate air, sea and ground makeshifts. For the past 
five days his single radar functioning in northwestern Luzon 
had each dawn been picking up approaching Japanese aircraft, 


and he had approved sending up fighter squadrons to try to in 
tercept them. The attempts were unsuccessful, but the air forces 
had been on full alert. 

The tactical handling of the air forces was completely in 
the hands of General Brereton and his staff. Several days be 
fore this tragic morning, MacArthur had ordered the 35 B-iy 
Flying Fortresses 500 miles south to the safety of Del Monte 
Field on Mindanao. After some delay half the great ships were 
sent on below, but for some reason 17 still remained at Clark 
Field above Manila. 

An explanation that has some validity is that the partially 
completed Del Monte Field had room for only four squadrons 
of bombers. When the two squadrons from Clark Field arrived, 
there was still room for two more squadrons, which could have 
included the remaining 6-173 in Luzon. But the 7th Bombard 
ment Group comprising four squadrons was shortly expected 
from the Pacific. It is possible that it was for this reason that 
the two remaining squadrons at Clark Field were not dis 
patched before hostilities opened, as MacArthur had in 

At 9:30 A.M. a large force of enemy bombers was reported 
over Lingayen Gulf heading toward Manila. Pursuit squadrons 
were immediately sent up to intercept them. At the same time, 
as a safety measure, the 17 6-175 at Clark Field were ordered 
into the air. But the enemy bombers suddenly shifted their 
course, turned northward and bombed the summer capital at 

The all clear was now sounded at Clark Field, and the fight 
ers returned for refueling. The 17 Fortresses had gas enough to 
stay in the air for a full 10 hours, but instead of being allowed 
to take advantage of this safety of the limitless skies, the com 
mander of Clark Field ordered them to return to the field. 

At 11:45 a report came in of an enemy formation over Lin 
gayen Gulf less than 100 miles away and moving southward. 
The fighter planes were being gassed while the pilots grabbed 
a bit of lunch. A half hour later four of the squadrons were in 
the air and the last of the P-4O fighters were starting to take 
off when high in the sky appeared an enemy bombardment 
force, together with dive bombers, escorted by fighters flown 

from carriers somewhere in the China Sea. In a matter of min 
utes 15 of the priceless 6-175 on the ground were completely 
destroyed and the other two were seriously damaged. Clark 
Field s anti-aircraft defenses proved totally inadequate; the en 
emy attackers systematically wrecked and burned planes, sup 
ply depots, installations and every vestige of the one modern 
airfield in all the Islands. 

It was a catastrophe of the first magnitude. From the mo 
ment that the news reached MacArthur, he spoke no single 
word of official censure against the air commanders who had 
failed to move their bombers to Mindanao as he had directed. 
Instead of obeying this instruction they had ordered the bomb 
ers to return to the landing field from the safety of the skies 
after the first enemy bombers flew inland. The Fortresses had 
been caught like sitting ducks. It was an irreparable loss, but it 
was the fortune of war. 

At once confusing and conflicting reports were made by Gen 
eral Brereton and certain members of his staff. The stark facts 
were clear enough in themselves: MacArthur had lost by noon 
of the first day of the war roughly half of his bombers and 
modern fighters. 

His air force was simply too small to survive the attacking 
Japanese air armada. Had it survived this first day, in a very 
short time its entire destruction would have been inevitable. 
There was almost a total lack of dispersal areas, and the 
ground defenses were all but nonexistent. Had every fighter 
been in the air that fatal noon their almost certain destruction 
would have come either in aerial combat or when gas shortage 
forced them to land. It seems certain that most of them would 
have been destroyed within a day or two by sheer enemy su 
periority of numbers. 

Very soon there were issued in Washington sponsored ver 
sions that were little less than veiled charges against the lack 
of foresight and the bad judgment of General MacArthur and 
his chief of staff. MacArthur personally became the target of 
the bitter accusations that were never quite to stop. 

So angry was the continued criticism heaped upon both him 
self and Brereton that on June 25, 1943 a full year and a half 
after the occurrence he issued from Brisbane a formal state- 


ment that should have closed the account. It is a direct and 
simple recital of events: 

25 June 45 

My attention has been called to a number of statements im 
plying criticism of the handling of the Air Forces by their Com 
mander, Major General Lewis EL Brereton, in the Philippines 
at the beginning of the war, the implication being that through 
neglect or faulty judgment he failed to take proper security 
measures resulting in the destruction of his Air Force on the 
Ground. Such statements do grave injustice to this officer and his 
gallant subordinates. General Brereton had in the Philippines 
only a token force which, excluding trainers and hopelessly obso 
lete planes, comprised but 35 heavy bombers and 72 fighters. He 
was further greatly handicapped by lack of airdromes, there being 
only one in Luzon, Clark Field, that was usable by heavy bombers 
and only five usable by fighters. Many airdromes were under con 
struction in the Philippines, but they were not completed and 
available on December 7. The entire command had been placed 
on a full war basis two weeks before the outbreak and had taken 
up defensive dispositions. Security and reconnaissance patrols had 
been flown regularly. Two of the 4 squadrons of heavy bombers 
were dispatched to Mindanao out of reach of enemy bombers but 
from where they would attack any target in the Philippine area 
and, by topping off at Clark Field, reach the limit of their range 
to the north. Forty-eight hours before the attack, the command 
was alerted. General Brereton, on December 6, informed his sub 
ordinate commanders that war was imminent and ordered all 
officers and combat crews to be ready for duty at all times. . . . 

His tiny air force was crushed by sheer weight of numbers. Its 
combat crews fought valiantly but were hopelessly outnumbered. 
Due to the shortage of fighters and to the lack of dispersal fields, 
the bombers, the famous igth Group, were withdrawn to Min 
danao, and later, to Australia and Java where they were soon 
engrossed in the struggle for the Dutch East Indies and Australia. 
Back in the Philippines, our fighters, under the brilliant leader 
ship of the late General H. H. George, maintained the unequal 
struggle with the greatest persistency and success, finally succumb 
ing to inevitable attrition, their last memorable attack being on 
Subic Bay, March 2, when only four were available to strike. 

The Air Forces in the Philippines planned carefully and exe- 

cuted valiantly. Any attempt to decry their record can spring 
only from a complete lack of knowledge of the facts involved. 

The MacArthur detractors never ceased their attacks and 
:ontinued pounding away on the charge that he had been 
juilty of some terrible neglect in command. 

[A number of years after the events occurred General Mac- 
Arthur was asked by Dr. Lewis Morton, distinguished army 
historian, to comment on certain decisions reached in regard to 
:he Pacific strategy. One of these questions was: "Did Hq. 
LJSAFFE believe on 8 December, after it was learned that 
Pearl Harbor had been attacked but before the attack on Clark 
Field, that it had authority under existing directives and war 
plans to attack (by air) Japanese territory or was it believed 
:hat action should be deferred until the Japanese made the 
irst overt move?" General MacArthur wrote out the following 

My orders were explicit not to initiate hostilities against the 
Japanese. The Philippines while a possession of the U. S. had, 
so far as war was concerned, a somewhat indeterminate inter 
national position in many minds, especially the Filipinos and 
their government. While I personally had not the slightest doubt 
we would be attacked great local hope existed that this would 
not be the case. Instructions from Washington were very def 
inite to wait until the Japanese made the first overt move. Even 
without such a directive, practical limitations made it unfeasible 
to take the offensive. The only possibility lay in striking from the 
air but the relative weakness of our air force precluded any chance 
of success for such an operation. Our only aggressive potential 
consisted of about thirty-six B-iys. Their only possible target was 
the enemy s fields on Formosa. Our advance fields in Luzon were 
still incomplete and our fighters from our other fields in Luzon 
were too far away from Formosa to protect our bombers in a 
Formosa attack. They did not have the necessary radius of action. 
The enemy s air force based on excellent fields outnumbered ours 
many times. In addition, he had a mobile force on carriers which 
we entirely lacked. Our basic mission directive had confined our 
operations to our own national waters so no outside reconnais 
sance had been possible. The exact location of enemy targets was 
therefore not known. Our air force was in process of integration, 


radar defenses not yet operative and personnel raw and inexpe 
rienced. An attack under such conditions would have been 
doomed to total failure. As a matter of fact, I had for safety 
reasons ordered the bombers to withdraw from Luzon to Min 
danao to be out of enemy range. This was in process of accom 
plishment when the enemy s air attacked. I did not know it at 
the time, but later understood that General Brereton had sug 
gested to the Chief of Staff, General Sutherland, that we should 
initiate operations by an attempted "strike" at Formosa. Had 
such a suggestion been made to me, I would have unequivocally 
disapproved. In my opinion it would have been suicidal as well 
as in direct defiance of my basic directive.] 

With ruthless efficiency the Japanese war machine drove south 
ward through the South China Sea. The concentrations of 
planes, ships and ground forces in the ports of Formosa, lower 
China and Indo-China that had been steadily growing now 
turned into deadly fighting outfits. Proud Hong Kong was the 
first point to fall, the British garrison crumpling before the en 
emy attacks and surrendering within one week after war be 
gan. Five hours before the Japanese bombers first cut through 
the Philippine skies, a heavy aerial offensive struck at British 
dromes on Singapore Island, with serious damages to planes 
and installations. The sun had barely come up when another 
strong force attacked British airfields in North Malaya. Every 
where the results were the same; planes were destroyed on the 
fields, and installations were ruined. Within three days British 
air strength in Upper Malaya was a thing of the past; 80% 
of the defending planes had been destroyed, many of them 
burned on the ground proving once more that there can be no 
second-best air force. 

MacArthur followed the disastrous news as it trickled in to 
him. There was cause for grimness in the report of the sinking 
of the battleships Prince of Wales and Repulse 50 miles off the 
Malayan coast on December 10. Within two hours the only two 
Allied battleships in the whole Western Pacific and in the seas 
of Southeastern Asia had gone to the bottom. 

Meanwhile the Japanese continued the systematic bombing 

of the naval installations at Cavite and Manila Bay and the de 
liberate destruction of what still remained of MacArthur s tiny 
air force. Admiral Hart had kept back in Manila Bay 3 of his 
14 over-age destroyers, a small number of his 37 submarines, 
and all 6 of his swift PT boats. A number of merchant ships 
were still in the bay, but so eager were the Japanese to elimi 
nate the few fighter planes that had survived their initial as 
saults that they did not bother to bomb the vessels, and only 
one or two did not escape. Within a few days only a handful of 
pursuit planes remained on Luzon. In order to prevent the 
overwhelming Jap Air Force from destroying the remaining 15 
6-17 bombers and the dozen long-range naval patrol planes 
still on Mindanao, they were ordered on December 15 to Aus 
tralia and the Dutch East Indies. 

Two days after the war began successful Japanese landings 
were made at Aparri in the extreme north in Luzon and at Vi- 
gan on the northwestern shoreline. Soon Jap fighters were op 
erating out of the Aparri area. On December 12, landings 
were made at Legaspi at the southeastern end of Luzon. Mac- 
Arthur recognized all these as only preliminary moves and not 
the real invasion. 

He refused to be drawn into the trap of being thrown off 
balance and disrupting his plans by sending the bulk of his 
ground forces to the far northern coastal points and thus weak 
ening his defenses along Lingayen Gulf. Both he and General 
Wainwright were confident the main landings would take place 
there. Ten days later some 80 Japanese ships of all kinds 
dropped anchor in the gulf. The landings were bitterly op 
posed, but there could be no doubt about the outcome. 

MacArthur s air force by this time had been almost com 
pletely destroyed. All but a token force of the Navy had been 
dispatched to other waters and to other distant causes. Fewer 
submarines than you could count on one hand, and little more 
than that number of planes were left to face the mighty Japa 
nese landing force, covered by carrier-based fighter planes and 
a fleet of warships. No real attempt at landing was made until 
the enemy had been assured that virtually no air or sea force 
was left to oppose him. 

General Wainwright at Lingayen Gulf had his orders. He 


was to fight a stubborn delaying action, but he was to take no 
chances of having his forces enveloped and destroyed. Quickly 
the pattern of defense developed, once it was evident that he 
was unable to deny the landing beaches to the Japanese at Lin- 
gayen. Already the enemy forces from Vigan had marched 
south and, joining up with the main invasion group at Linga- 
yen, begun the great drive down the 4o-mile-wide Central Val 
ley toward Manila. 

Numerous streams cut across the main north-south roads, 
and before each river crossing the bridge roadblocks were set 
up by Hugh Casey s band of engineers and demolition teams. 
When the advancing Japanese patrols were checked, enemy 
tanks and guns would be brought up to blast out the defend 
ers, Wainwright s men would slowly give way, and Casey s dy 
namiters would blow the bridges. 

Five well-placed lines of defense were laid out across the 
Central Valley long before the actual landings. Here strong ef 
forts were made to hold up the enemy advances. The delaying 
operations would be repeated again and again. Stand and fight; 
slip back and dynamite. Each main withdrawal required an ex 
actness of timing that ordinarily would not have been at 
tempted with other than experienced troops. Full regiments 
and even larger bodies were at times engaged, but the funda 
mental defense tactics were to hold until the last possible hour, 
never permit the advancing enemy to infiltrate through the 
flanks and then double-envelop. For the most part it produced 
effective delay, despite the stark fact that the Philippine Na 
tional Army was made up of poorly armed and only partially 
trained troops. MacArthur and his officers and men were now 
paying a terrible price for the neglect and unconcern that had 
long been handed out to them by a Washington absorbed with 
European affairs. 

Far to the south below Manila the attenuated Philippine- 
American groups were forced to give way quickly behind the 
landing beaches on Lamon Bay. Sudden panic was thrown into 
the defenders when a fairly heavy landing was made to the 
north of Legaspi. Using his two well-trained constabulary regi 
ments and self-propelled guns as the core of his resistance, Ma 
jor General George M. Parker fought hard to stem the tide of 















{ &LO*f$4PO 









\ X 


> ^/ 










i { 

\ .*"^ i \ 


^-\ V 



/ J 


v " T 









\ ./ 







The fighting on Luzon and the side-slip into Bataan. 

Japanese, while the rest of his three southern divisions with 
drew northward through Manila. These included his forces on 
the western shore of Batangas on the China Sea. To avoid cap 
ture they must race through Manila, then try to cross the twin 
Calumpit bridges. Once over the bridges they could side-slip 
westward into the rugged fastness of Bataan peninsula. At best 
it was a desperate gamble. 

But it proved to be a perfectly executed withdrawal by these 
southern divisions. Above the city and the key bridges the 
North Luzon forces under Wainwright fought a stubborn hold 
ing operation which gave the soldiers southward the days and 
hours they needed. The national Filipino troops, poorly 
trained and armed, battled valiantly beside their more experi 
enced comrades. 

The British forces in Malaya were facing the same problem, 
but their judgment in dealing with it was an entirely different 
story. In their desire to block the Japanese drive southward 
toward the impregnable base of Singapore, the British com 
manders became victims of a hopeful philosophy of jungle se 
curity which was disastrous for them. 

The British had relied on the adverse weather. No enemy 
landings on Malaya, they reasoned, could be made during the 
monsoon season. And if the Japanese did land, they insisted, 
they could not penetrate the jungle in force. 

But the specially trained and equipped Japanese battalions 
infiltrated the tropical forests and deadly swamps, slipped and 
slithered around the British strong points and finally over 
whelmed them in a deadly double envelopment. Thus the 
jungle-and-monsoon complex proved as costly to the British as 
their Singapore complex which considered the island bastion 
invulnerable. When the terrible test came Singapore s great 
guns pointed helplessly toward the sea, while the air above it 
immediately became Japanese territory, and soon the ground 
approaches from the north fell into enemy hands. 

The over-all Japanese strategy was now clear. The Philip 
pines were surrounded on three sides by strong enemy air and 
sea bases; to the north lay Formosa; on the west across the 
South China Sea were enemy concentrations in Indo-China 

and on the Chinese mainland; and to the east in the Pacific 
were the Palau Islands, the Marianas and the great island for 
tress of Truk in the Carolines, all in Japanese hands. Below lay 
the loot worthy of a war. 

No longer was there any reality in the former hopes of Mac- 
Arthur or of the imaginative minds in the War Plans Divi 
sion in Washington that bombers based in the Philippines and 
aided by submarines could cut the water route through the 
South China Sea and deny the Japanese the oil and supplies 
that could power their war machine. 

Everywhere MacArthur was on the defensive and fighting for 
his life. The news that all eight of the heavy battleships, with 
two cruisers and several destroyers of the U. S. Pacific fleet, had 
either been sunk in the shallow, muddy bottom of Pearl Har 
bor or put out of action in the first hour or two of the attack 
gave the Washington crowd the excuse to maintain secretly 
that the Philippines must now be left to their fate. In the Pa 
cific there were still three great aircraft carriers and their ac 
companying swift cruisers and destroyers and submarines. In 
the Atlantic there were three more American carriers and a 
fleet of battleships, with two of the newest and most powerful 
battleships in the world. As late as March 1941 this Atlantic 
fleet had been augmented by three battleships, four light cruis 
ers and eighteen destroyers from the Pacific fleet based at Pearl 

Yet no amount of realism or common sense could keep Mac- 
Arthur, Quez6n and the men around them from feeling that, 
by some magic, real help might still be sent the 20,000 and 
more American soldiers, marines and naval personnel and their 
100,000 Filipino comrades fighting with their backs to the wall. 
Britain was not in immediate danger. Germany and Russia 
were locked in a death struggle. Only here in the Philippines 
were Americans fighting, and only here was there a definite 
pledged national obligation backed by more than 40 years of 
mutual trust and endeavor. 


One of the first steps taken by General George Marshall in re 
sponse to the challenging situation came five days after the 
Pearl Harbor disaster, when he ordered Brigadier General Ei 
senhower to report immediately to Washington from San An 
tonio, Texas. During the Texas-Louisiana maneuvers, Eisen 
hower had made a brilliant record as chief of staff of General 
Walter Krueger s Third Army. And now in a twenty-minute 
talk Marshall laid out the broad background of the American 
war plans as they fitted into the disastrous upset resulting from 
Japan s attack on Pearl. 

Long before this tragic debacle of December 7 Marshall had 
been won over completely to Roosevelt s philosophy that the 
first and commanding demand on America was to help check 
Hitler s drive in Russia, thus keeping the Soviets in the war, 
and at the same time to go to the aid of Britain and her en 
dangered empire. It was immediately necessary, however, to 
try to convince the American public that everything possible 
was being done for the relief of their own soldiers and their 
Filipino comrades in the Philippines. 

The administration and the armed services consequently 
must at least go through the motions of trying to get help to 
MacArthur, whose brave stand against great odds had almost 
overnight made him a world hero. At the same time it was ex 
pedient for them to build up this fighting figure, if for no other 
reason than to shift the growing criticism away from the Pearl 
Harbor disaster. 

Eisenhower was sent for because his four years as chief of 
staff of the Philippine military mission had presumably given 
him a background of the entire Far Eastern situation. Marshall 
ended his short conference with the blunt question, "What 
should be our general line of action?" 

Eisenhower asked for a few hours to ponder the problem. 
Ten thousand miles away doom was closing down on the chief 
under whom he had served seven years. Here at hand, how 
ever, was General Marshall, who probably would be the domi 
nant military figure in the global struggle that lay ahead, and 
who, as Army Chief of Staff, held a position of almost unliin- 

ited authority. To fathom precisely just what lay in his senior 
officer s mind was a rare ability possessed by temporary Briga 
dier General Eisenhower. In this particular case he had only to 
translate into a plausible military plan his surmises of what 
General Marshall wanted. This was a fairly simple task for the 
experienced staff officer, who knew that the accepted over-all 
strategy was to bend every immediate effort to defeat Hitler, 
and later to settle with Japan. 

No such harsh word as "abandonment" was used by Eisen 
hower when he reported back to the Chief of Staff. Since the 
Navy refused to sponsor any sea or air guarantee, obviously no 
real rescue or relief could be attempted. At present there could 
be little more done than to hire adventurous old tramp ships in 
Australia and the East Indies to try to run the Japanese block 
ade and land supplies. 

Australia, he held, must quickly be built up as a great base 
of operations for the future, and the sea lane from the States 
protected by swiftly built Southern Pacific island bases. Mac- 
Arthur and his American and Filipino soldiers, with thousands 
of American civilians and a nation of 17,000,000 still under the 
legal and moral protection of the United States, must for the 
present be sacrificed to what was accepted in Washington as 
the larger needs of Europe and North Africa, the Middle East 
and India and the demands of Russia. In a gesture of com 
plete agreement Marshall turned from Eisenhower s verbal re 
port with the order, "Do your best to save them." 

No one will ever be quite able to estimate accurately how 
much could have been done in aiding the Philippines if there 
had been a stubborn will-to-win. Formal cables signed by Mar 
shall indicate that there was much urging from the Chief of 
Staff s office to American army officers in Australia and the 
Dutch Islands to bribe and bully ship captains and crews to un 
dertake the perilous attempt to run the Japanese blockade and 
take supply ships to the Philippines. The able and driving Pat 
rick J. Hurley, one-time Secretary of War, now commissioned 
a reserve brigadier general, flew to Australia to attempt to push 
through the blockade-running; and Colonel John A. Robenson 
was sent on north to Java with a suitcase full of American cur 
rency. But it was too late. 


No words by Marshall could change the basic responsibility 
for the tragedy o unpreparedness that he had allowed to de 
velop in the Philippines. The very hectic and extravagant ef 
fort now being made obviously came when it was too late 
for anything but the most desperate and all-out attempt at re 
lief. Even a real effort might have failed to do much more than 
hearten and build up the morale of the helpless and belea 
guered force, but that at least would have been important in 
offsetting the mood of abandonment that had captured the 

MacArthur on Corregidor repeatedly argued with Washing 
ton that the enemy s sea blockade was thin and penetrable, and 
that a supreme effort should be made to push blockade-runners 
directly across the Pacific. All that might have been attempted 
by Washington certainly was not being done, granted that the 
risks were very great. 

All told, six submarines were to reach Corregidor, the first, 
the Seawolfj appearing at dawn of January 30, 1942, with 27 
tons of much-needed -5O-caliber and 75-mm. ammunition. 
Later two more subs brought in ammunition and two others 
carried food supplies but only one of the two was able to land 
its cargo. 

In all only three cargo ships ever reached the Philippines. 
The Coast Farmer left Brisbane in middle February and 
landed its 3,000 tons of rations and a large amount of ammuni 
tion at Anakan in Gingoog Bay on the north coast of Minda 
nao. On March 6 the Dona Nati arrived at Cebu in the central 
islands with 5,000 tons of rations and considerable ammunition 
and medical supplies. Eleven days later the Anhui, a smaller 
ship, docked at Cebu with supplies, and four crated P-4OS 
lashed on her deck. These P-4os were to fly and to fight in the 
last wild days of resistance. 

Of the grand total of 10,500 tons unloaded from the three 
ships, only 1,100 tons were ever to reach Corregidor or Bataan. 

Even before MacArthur realized how insignificant the 
amount of supplies to reach him would actually be, he dis 
patched a message to Washington pleading that help be sent 
him directly from the West Coast of America. His message to 

the Chief of Staff on February 22, 1942, proved how desperate 
was the need for help. One paragraph read: 

Nowhere is the situation more desperate and dangerous than 
here. . . . The quantities [of supplies] involved are not great 
but it is imperative that they be made instantly available in the 
United States and that the entire impulse and organization be 
reenergized and controlled directly by you. If it is left as a sub 
sidiary effort it will never be accomplished. 

The last sentence of this dispatch hinted at the truth behind 
the failure. 

Everything that had to do with the official Washington atti 
tude regarding any serious and determined aid for the Ameri 
cans and their comrades in the Islands was "a subsidiary effort." 

No one probably will ever be able to judge accurately what 
the result would have been had the swift new American battle- 
ships and the three great air carriers and their cruiser and de< 
stroyer escorts in the Atlantic joined with the four carriers and 
their escorts and the numerous submarines remaining in the 
Pacific and sallied forth at the proper moment and under the 
right conditions to challenge the Japanese fleet and clear the 
way to Manila Bay. 

The best naval advice available was that even the combined 
fleets, fired with the unconquerable fighting spirit of the U. S. 
Navy, would have been taking the greatest possible risks in 
boldly facing the Japanese fleet in a battle area of Japan s own 
choosing, and with the American armada 5,000 and more miles 
away from its bases. Even with the advantage of having cracked 
the Japanese codes, the result might have been utterly disas 
trous to the Americans. 

But it is probable that the top-level decision against making 
any such brave effort at relief had long before been reached by 
the White House, with little regard for purely naval or military 
advice. The Atlantic war came first in every consideration. The 
pleas and pressure by Churchill far outweighed those by Mac- 
Arthur, Hitler must be defeated first, even if it were necessary 
to abandon all the pledges and the honor involved in protecting 
the Philippines and the doomed men trapped there. It had been 


so resolved for almost a year before the actual shooting war be 
gan. The easing of the conscience of those American leaders 
responsible had long ago been accomplished. Only the public 
had yet to be fooled. 

On April 23, *944> Admiral Ernest J. King, who succeeded 
Admiral Stark as Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet, 
wrote in his First Report to the Secretary of the Navy the fol 
lowing comment: 

The sudden treacherous attack by Japan, which resulted in 
heavy losses to us, made our unfavorable strategic position at the 
outbreak of the war even worse than we had anticipated. Had 
we not suffered those losses, however, our fleet could not have pro 
ceeded to Manila as many people supposed and there relieved our 
hard pressed forces. Such an undertaking at that time, with the 
means at hand to carry it out and support it, would have been 

During the late December days the swiftly moving drama that 
centered at the two key Calumpit bridges over the Pampanga 
river north of Manila absorbed the energy and the hours, day 
and night, of MacArthur and his field commanders. The re 
treating Filipino regiments in lower Luzon, using their com 
mandeered motor transport and their rolling trains and guns, 
streamed through Manila and on to the north. By sturdy delay 
ing tactics they had held back the enemy columns coming up 
from the south below Manila, while Wainwright s troops 
blocked the Japanese advancing down the Central Valley. On 
several occasions near panic seized the partially trained units 
in the north, but skillful leadership kept the half-armed and 
inexperienced defenders from being enveloped and the whole 
plan of withdrawal from collapsing. 

Only a few of the South Luzon force remained below the 
twin bridges over the Pampanga river when on December 30 
orders came to block an enemy breakthrough on the right 
flank and above the key structures at all cost. Swampy ground 
gave a certain protection, and with the self-propelled artillery 

and a battalion of tanks that MacArthur ordered up a day or 
two before, the Japanese were held. 

All during the early part of the night of New Year s Eve final 
truckloads of troops and supplies from the south rumbled across 
the bridges and moved along the jammed highways toward the 
green doorway into Bataan. Quietly the last defending bat 
talion slipped back over the long steel structures. Dawn was just 
breaking on the new year of 1942, and the Japanese outpost 
was cautiously feeling its way forward, when Casey s dynamiters 
slammed down their electric switches and the great friendly 
bridges were no more. 

MacArthur s split-second timing had won. But there was still 
the terrifying threat that the Japanese would bomb the 
crowded roads that led to Bataan and that a fresh holocaust 
would scream down on the columns of men and supplies. It 
seemed almost unbelievable that the prowling enemy air force, 
complete masters of the sky, had not long before bombed the 
Calumpit bridges and the roads from Manila, but so absorbed 
had they been in destroying the last few planes MacArthur 
had that they had missed this chance to cripple him irrepara 

On the first day of the new year MacArthur at least had the 
satisfaction of knowing that his great side-slip into Bataan 
would be successful. For one reason or another, he had been 
unable to concentrate all his military and medical supplies and 
all the food that was available into the mountain fastness; but 
he had largely kept his troops intact and there had been time 
for him to construct trenches and strong points in the upper 
end of the heavy wooded and mountainous area. The fact that 
he was short in certain types of ammunition, particularly for 
his anti-aircraft guns, was not his fault. Washington simply had 
failed to supply him. This was even more seriously true in re 
gard to Corregidor. It was long kept a whispered secret that 
months before Pearl Harbor MacArthur had been forced to 
ship the greater part of his ,5O-caliber ammunition to the Brit 
ish at Singapore. Most of it, however, had been replaced. 

One disturbing fact was apparent to him. Along with the 
Philippine soldiers and their American comrades, who num 
bered a total of 80,000, there had slipped through the Ba- 


taan entrance 26,000 Filipino civilians. This meant that he 
now would have a certain amount of local supplies used up in 
feeding civilians whom he had not figured on. Long before the 
agonizing end of the Bataan campaign this would prove an im 
portant factor contributing to the final disaster. 

The retreating troops of the South Luzon force were just be 
ginning to withdraw northward through Manila when MacAr- 
thur, with the approval of President Quezon, decided that he 
should officially abandon Manila, declare it an open city and 
thus save it from almost certain aerial destruction. On Decem 
ber 24 he sent Lt. Colonel Sidney Huff, his former naval ad 
visor on the staff of the military mission and now his senior 
aide, to inform the president and High Commissioner Sayre 
that it was time to move the official government to Corregidor. 

Jean MacArthur hurriedly packed a few necessities for the 
four members of her immediate household. On Christmas Eve 
as she prepared to leave the penthouse with all its treasures in 
books and trophies his father and mother had left the General, 
she passed a tall, beautifully carved cabinet that contained the 
many decorations awarded her husband during the 45 years 
since the first little gold medal had been given him as a lad of 
17 at the Texas Military Academy in San Antonio. Quickly she 
opened one of her suitcases, discarded one or two garments 
and then, spreading a bath towel on the floor, removed the 
medals from their cases and wrapped them in a tight bundle. 
In one of the General s suitcases were two or three photographs 
of his father and mother. Nothing else in the apartment was 
taken with them. 

The swift twilight of the tropics had fallen over Manila 
when the party gathered at the landing dock and slipped 
aboard the little boat that would undertake the go-mile trip to 
Corregidor. That afternoon the General had his final talk with 
Admiral Hart, who had come in on a submarine for this last 
conference. The two men had not seen eye to eye; there had 
been many differences between them. 

All communications with Washington were in the hands of 


Corregidor Island last to fall in Luzon. 

the Navy and its wireless station on Corregidor. Rear Admiral 
Francis Rockwell was to remain in command o such naval 
forces and installations as were not removed or destroyed. 
These included the experienced 4th Regiment of Marines and 
some hundreds of enlisted naval men who had been at Cavite 
and would soon arrive on Corregidor. Hart left on Christ 
mas Day, leaving behind 3 gunboats, 3 minesweepers, 6 motor 
torpedo boats and a few odds and ends of tugs and yachts. By 
January 31 all the few remaining submarines had left Philip 
pine waters. 

It was a bitter realization for MacArthur that even in the 
narrow confines of Manila Bay and the fortress of Corregidor 
and the battlefields of Bataan, he had not the authority of 
a unified command. He had no formal jurisdiction whatever 
over the badly needed Marines or the ground naval force. Ap 
parently he was dependent upon the friendship and good will 
of Admiral Rockwell. Fortunately Rockwell was younger and 
far more amenable and cooperative than the critical and ex 
acting Hart. 

As the two men stood to say good-bye on the day before 
Christmas, Admiral Hart made no mention of any change in 
the chain of command regarding his naval and marine forces 
still in the Philippines, As days and weeks went on and the 
desperate struggle to hold Manila Bay grew in intensity, Mac- 


Arthur felt keenly the lack of supreme command, so that he 
might have the considerable naval contingent and the 4th Ma 
rines directly under his orders. Finally in late January he re 
monstrated with the War Department on the unreasonable sit 

At once a radiogram came back to MacArthur that Admiral 
Hart had been instructed on December 17 to turn over all that 
remained of his naval command to him when the Admiral re 
linquished personal control. General MacArthur showed the 
new instructions to Admiral Rockwell, who apparently either 
was completely ignorant of them or at least had made no men 
tion of any knowledge of the previous orders to General Mac- 

When Hart left on Christmas Eve he informed the com 
mander of the 4th Marines, Colonel Samuel L. Howard, whose 
outfit was then at Olongapo at the northern end of the Bataan 
peninsula, that he was now under the tactical employment of 
the Army. Colonel Howard at once reported to MacArthur and 
Sutherland and was requested to take his regiment to Corregi- 
dor and integrate it into the beach defenses of the fortress. On 
December 29 he was officially designated as commander of all 
shore defenses. Eventually Howard s total beach force num 
bered more than 4,000 men, of whom 1,352 were marines. 

Both the 4th Marines and the ground naval forces had their 
own independent supply and medical setups on Corregidor. 
Not until sometime in February, when orders came from 
Washington making clear that MacArthur was in full com 
mand of all forces in the Philippines, was the Navy and Ma 
rine personnel subjected to the 50% reduction in rations that 
was the lot of the Army people. They had their own food, 
clothing and medical depots and rigidly controlled them. With 
unified command, however, MacArthur pooled all the re 
sources, and from then on the Navy and Marine files shared 
equally with the Army men. 

Never did MacArthur make an effort to try to discover who 
was actually to blame for the confused situation. 

[In the list of questions asked General MacArthur some 
years after the war was one that read: "Upon what considera- 

tion and on what contemporary information was the decision 
to withdraw to Bataan made on December 24, 1941, based?" 
MacArthur s formal reply was as follows: 

My concept for the initial defense of the Philippine Islands 
was to defeat the enemy on the beaches where he would be at 
his weakest in any attempted amphibious landings. There were 
three possible areas in Luzon for such landings north, south and 
of much lesser expanse, southeast. My forces were meager, poorly 
equipped and only partially trained. I deployed the I Corps in 
the north under General Wainwright, the II Corps to the south 
under General Jones and local Philippine forces to the southeast. 
The I Corps was unable to prevent the enemy from securing 
beachheads in the north and was being gradually forced back 
from one defensive line to another. No major attack had de 
veloped on the south line but reports reached me about midnight 
that a landing had been made in the southeast and our forces 
there were unable to hold the enemy who was driving rapidly 
west toward Manila. This would have split the II Corps from the 
I, divided my forces and subjected them to destruction in detail. 
I immediately ordered Jones to withdraw by forced marches from 
the south to Bataan through Manila, and Wainwright to tempo 
rarily stand in the north and at all cost to hold clear the road 
nets leading to Bataan until the II Corps could take position there 
and our base of supplies be moved from Manila to Mariveles and 
Corregidor. When these moves had been successfully accom 
plished, I evacuated Manila and declared it an open city to save 
it from destruction. This decision and its brilliant implementa 
tion by the field commanders involved made possible the months 
of delay to the Japanese advance caused by the sieges of Bataan 
and Corregidor. I have always regarded it as the not only most 
vital decision of the Philippine Campaign but in its corollary 
consequences one of the most decisive of the war. This view was 
confirmed later from the Japanese records. Imperial Japanese 
Headquarters stated, "It was a great strategic move. The Japa 
nese i4th Army Headquarters . . . never planned for or ex 
pected a withdrawal to Bataan. The decisive battle had been 
expected in Manila. The Japanese commanders could not adjust 
to the new situation/ And politically it stood as a symbol 
there was a spiritual influence exerted by the American resistance 
on Bataan.] 


While the MacArthur forces in the north of Luzon were fight 
ing their great delaying action and the plan to leave doomed 
Manila for the Rock had been decided on, history-making 
events were occurring in Washington. On December 23 Prime 
Minister Churchill and a retinue of 87 of his highest naval, 
army and air advisors and war chiefs slipped into the Capital. 
Churchill was the guest of the President at the White House, 
and most of the officers were entertained at the British Em 

Long ago, even before Pearl Harbor, there had been general 
agreement that the first and commanding job was to win the 
war against Hitler. The coldest Russian winter in years had 
suddenly proved to be a sturdy ally of the Soviets. A million 
German soldiers already were bogged down in the heavy snows 
outside the Red capital, and there was now a growing hope 
that the Russians might hold on, certainly until the following 
spring. But to the south another conquering German force had 
already taken Odessa, and the Black Sea was no longer secure. 

It took little effort apparently for the persuasive Churchill 
and his visiting staff to transfer many of their own most press 
ing problems of the global war, mainly including the exigen 
cies of the British Empire, into the hands of the American war 
leaders. It was simple for them to prove that the Japanese war 
must wait, but the threat toward India must be met and 
checked by way of the Middle East and Europe rather than 
from the Pacific. 

Sooner or later, they argued, the Japanese would overex- 
tend themselves. The farther from their home bases the out 
posts of their conquests extended, the more vulnerable they 
would ultimately become to a final combined attack by the 
victorious Allies once Hitler was crushed. British arguments 
stressed the ideas to those sitting around the long conference 
table that there was no doubt that the Philippines were lost, 
in all probability Malaya, Singapore and the Dutch East In 
dies were doomed, and even Australia faced grave danger of 
invasion. But once Europe and Britain were saved, all that had 
fallen to the enemy in the Far East would be reclaimed and 

Japan would be driven back to her tiny islands. American 
power and British cunning could easily turn the trick. 

Then suddenly a release in Melbourne, Australia, shook 
the war planners almost off their comfortable seats in distant 
Washington. The morning of December 28 the powerful Mel 
bourne Herald carried an article by the Labor Prime Minister, 
John Curtin. 

I make it clear that Australia looks to America, free from any 
pangs about our traditional links of friendship to Britain. 

We know Britain s problems. We know her constant threat of 
invasion. We know the dangers of dispersing strength but we 
know that Australia can go and Britain still hang on. 

We are determined that Australia shall not go. We shall exert 
our energy towards shaping a plan, with the United States as its 
keystone, giving our country confidence and ability to hold out 
until the tide of battle swings against the enemy. 

We refuse to accept the dictum that the Pacific struggle is a 
subordinate segment of the general conflict. The Government 
regards the Pacific struggle as primarily one in which the United 
States and Australia should have the fullest say in the direction 
of the fighting plan. 

So at last the disheartened men drawing back into Bataan 
and Corregidor, the abandoned troops, sailors and airmen in 
Malaya and at Singapore and through the Dutch Islands and 
on below to Australia and New Zealand had a champion who 
dared to oppose the complacent planners in Washington. Ob 
viously these experts were too concerned with Hitler to be able 
to see clearly beyond the Urals or the eastern shores of the 
Arabian Sea or on to the west of Pearl Harbor. John Curtin 
along with Richard Casey, the Australian Minister to the 
United States, suddenly became men to be reckoned with. 

Churchill and Roosevelt immediately took time out from 
their European and Middle East war games to lower their 
sights toward the discouraged victims of Japanese aggression. 
The British Premier sent a friendly and encouraging message 
to Curtin, and then at a White House press conference asserted 
that, while a military alliance between Australia and the 
United States was inevitable because of their geographic situa- 


tion, he looked for no weakening of the Dominion s link with 

President Roosevelt at once dispatched a long message to 
Quezon in which he said: 

The people of the United States will never forget what the 
people of the Philippine Islands are doing this day and will do 
in days to come. I give to the people of the Philippines my 
solemn pledge that their freedom will be redeemed and their 
independence established and protected. 

The entire resources, in men and material, of the United States 
stand behind that pledge. 

Working on MacArthur s staff as a member of the press section 
was an energetic and patriotic Filipino newspaper editor, Carlos 
Romulo. Once MacArthur was established on Corregidor, en 
gineers managed to set up a small broadcasting station called 
The Voice of Freedom, and daily Major Romulo poured 
out inspiring messages to the troops on Bataan and the peo 
ple over Luzon. 

This latest pledge from the President of the United States 
was broadcast more than once, but somehow its vague implica 
tion of help was translated into signs and portents that had no 
basis in reality. Together with a later statement by President 
Roosevelt, it became the basis for a mythical assurance that 
shortly aid would come by sky and sea. 

Meanwhile on Bataan the long ordeal of hunger and fever, 
of wounds and death, gripped the beleaguered peninsula. The 
thousands of civilian refugees complicated more and more the 
food situation and almost at once the garrison was put on half 
rations. Later this amount was again cut, so that instead of re 
ceiving even 1,500 calories daily the amount was reduced to lit 
tle more than half. Somehow the supplies must be made to 
hold out over a period of four to six months, by which time 
relief would surely come. 

Cutting north and south through the center of Bataan ran an 
irregular chain of wooded mountains dividing the 25-by-i5 mile 
defense area in the peninsula into east and west zones. A 


The defense lines on Bataem. 

corps command was established on each flank of the central 
chain, and the General Headquarters reserve was placed so 
that help could be hurried to either battlefield. 

What had once looked so easy to the Japanese high com 
mand now turned out to be almost as much a trap for the at 
tackers as it was for the defenders. The jungle slopes of the 
central mountains offered to the Japanese a prospect for infil 
tration, but time and again those enemy units that managed to 
penetrate behind the defensive lines were stopped and driven 
into pockets by the Filipino and American troops. Nevertheless 
the constant pressure of the better armed and trained enemy 
troops, although they were heavily outnumbered, shortly began 
to tell. 

On December 26 Corregidor, less than three miles across 
the entrance to Manila Bay from lower Bataan, received its 
first heavy air attack. For two hours the General and his two 
Filipino orderlies stood on the lawn of his house, refusing to 
seek protection. The defiant act proved to be a great morale 
builder. A few days later a little group gathered near the up 
per entrance to the central tunnel that connected the upper 
and lower areas of the long narrow island. The bizarre setting 
seemed to give special dignity and eloquence to the words 
spoken by Manuel Quez6n as he was sworn in for a second time 
as President of the Philippine Commonwealth. When he had 
finished his short inaugural address, he was followed by U. S. 
High Commissioner Sayre, and then General MacArthur was 
called upon. His voice barely reached the back row of the few 
hundred spectators as he spoke slowly: 

Never before in all history has there been a more solemn and 
significant inauguration. An act, symbolical of democratic proc 
esses, is placed against the background of a sudden, merciless war. 

The thunder of death and destruction, dropped from the skies, 
can be heard in the distance. Our ears almost catch the roar of 
battle as our soldiers close on the firing line. The horizon is 
blackened by the smoke of destructive fire. The air reverberates 
to the roar of exploding bombs. 

Such is the bed of birth of this new government, of this new 
nation. For four hundred years the Philippines have struggled 
upward towards self-government. Just at the end of its tuitionary 

period, just on the threshold of independence, came the great 
hour of decision. There was no hesitation, no vacillation, no 
moment of doubt. The whole country followed its great leader 
in choosing the side of freedom against the side of slavery. 

We have just inaugurated him, we have just thereby confirmed 
his momentous decision. Hand in hand with the United States 
and the other free nations of the world, this basic and funda 
mental issue will be fought through to victory. Come what may, 
ultimate triumph will be its reward. 

Through this its gasping agony of travail, through what 
Winston Churchill called "blood and sweat and tears/ from the 
grim shadow of the Valley of Death, oh merciful God, preserve 
this noble race. 

The month of January seemed interminable to the men on Ba- 
taan and Corregidor. In the green jungles of the peninsula 
malaria and tropical diseases accounted for the death and in 
capacity of far more men than the fire of the Japanese. With 
rations reduced more than one-half, most of the troops on the 
Rock suffered the same disability from lack of food as those 
on Bataan, and there were frequent and sustained bombings of 
the fortress. 

One of MacArthur s constant chores was to help sustain the 
ailing President Quez6n. The foul air of the tunnel had 
brought on a recurrence of active tuberculosis, and he grew so 
weak that he could barely walk. 

Back home the name of MacArthur was assuming tremen 
dous popularity. Both the United States and the Allied world 
were in desperate need of a symbol of courage and stubborn 
fighting ability, and MacArthur filled the bill. Only in his mili 
tary area were native forces doing their full share in a common 
defense, and only around Manila Bay were the Japanese invad 
ers being checked and actually pushed back on their heels. 

Despite the fact that Marshall and his associates were too ab 
sorbed in planning the destruction of Hitler to make any seri 
ous attempt to answer MacArthur s call for help, there were 
many reasons why the only senior American general who was 
actually fighting should not be sacrificed. On February 2 a 


radiogram signed by Marshall, but probably written by Eisen 
hower, inquired about MacArthur s plans for his wife and 
young son. Two days later a second wireless from Washington 
announced that serious study was being made regarding the 
removal of civilian officials from the Rock. 

For the first time Marshall outlined the possibility of Mac- 
Arthur being sent to Australia to assume command of army 
forces being gathered there. The other alternative was that he 
might be ordered to Mindanao, where the length of his serv 
ice would depend on the success of cargo ships in running the 
Japanese blockade and the efficiency of the guerilla operations. 
His views were requested. 

MacArthur s resentment at his suggested removal from his 
troops at the moment of their greatest need for him was far 
from placated by a paragraph in the Marshall cable that read: 

It is understood that in case your withdrawal from immediate 
leadership of your beleaguered forces is to be carried out, it will 
be by direct order of the President to you. 

[Mac Arthur had no way of knowing that the phrase "by di 
rect order of the President to you" had been included in the 
cable at the suggestion of Colonel J. Munroe Johnson, former 
commander of the nfth Engineers, of the Rainbow Division 
of World War I, and an old friend of the General s. The colonel 
had explained to Roosevelt that he was positive that MacArthur 
would not obey orders for his withdrawal if they came from the 
War Department alone, but that it would take a direct com 
mand from the President as Commander-in-Chief .] 

A few days before the last messages were sent to MacArthur, 
Quez6n on Corregidor, plagued by statements made by Gen 
eral Aguinaldo in Manila and by an offer of the Japanese 
Prime Minister to grant the Philippines their full independ 
ence, formally transmitted a message to General MacArthur 
which was, of course, intended ultimately for President Roose 
velt. The questions Quez6n asked showed the desperate mood 
that now gripped him: 

We decided to fight by your side and we have done our best 
and we are still doing as much as could be expected from us 
under the circumstances. But how long are we going to be left 

alone? Has it already been decided in Washington that the 
Philippine front is of no importance as far as the final result 
of the war is concerned and that, therefore, no help can be ex 
pected here in the immediate future, or at least before the power 
of resistance is exhausted? If so, I want to know because I have 
my own responsibility to my countrymen whom, as President of 
the Commonwealth, I have led into a complete war effort. . . . 
It seems that Washington does not fully realize our situation 
nor the feelings which the apparent neglect of our safety and 
welfare have engendered in the hearts of our people here. . . . 

The Roosevelt reply could hardly have deceived even the 
sick and distressed Quez6n. One portion read: 

Although I cannot at this time state the day that help will 
arrive in the Philippines, I can assure you that every vessel avail 
able is bearing to the Southwest Pacific the strength that will 
eventually crush the enemy and liberate your native land. . . . 

, A week went by and then in complete frustration Quez6n 
evolved a fantastic plan of action that would have been com 
pletely foreign to him in anything bordering on normal times. 
On February 8 he called his Cabinet together on the Rock and 
read them a long dispatch that he contemplated sending the 
President of the United States through General MacArthur. 
Then he talked the matter over with High Commissioner 
Sayre and finally with the General. The result was that a ra 
diogram was sent to the President, with attending remarks by 
both the High Commissioner and General MacArthur. 

Quez6n s proposal was no less than that the Philippines be 
immediately granted full independence by the United States, 
and that they then be neutralized by a formal agreement be 
tween Japan and the United States. All Filipino troops would 
be disbanded, and all fighting on the Islands would end. 

The accompanying report of High Commissioner Sayre ap 
proved the proposal, "if the premise of President Quezon is 
correct that American help cannot or will not arrive here in 
time to be availing." 

In forwarding the two messages General MacArthur added 
his own interpretation: 


Since I have no air or sea protection you must be prepared 
at any time to figure on the complete destruction of this com 
mand. You must determine whether the mission o delay would 
be better furthered by the temporizing plan of Quezon s or by 
my continued battle effort. The temper of the Filipinos is one 
of almost violent resentment against the United States. Every 
one of them expected help and when it was not forthcoming 
they believe they have been betrayed in favor of others. ... So 
far as the military angle is concerned, the problem presents itself 
as to whether the plan of President Quezon might offer the best 
possible solution of what is about to be a disastrous debacle. It 
would not affect the ultimate situation in the Philippines, for 
that would be determined by the results in other theatres. If the 
Japanese Government rejects President Quez6n s proposition it 
would psychologically strengthen our hold because of their Prime 
Minister s statement offering independence. If it accepts it, we 
lose no military advantage because we would still secure at least 
equal delay. Please instruct me. 

It was a desperate gamble that MacArthur was taking. He 
was certain that only some such shock as the messages from 
Quezon, Sayre and himself could shake the administration out 
of its mood of abandonment. His innate realism made clear to 
him the impracticability of the whole scheme, but he was will 
ing to pay the cost of this final attempt to awaken Washington 
and possibly gain even slight help. 

Certainly the President, Secretary of War Stimson and Chief 
of Staff Marshall were genuinely disturbed by the proposal. 
All three understood the delicacy of the situation, and they 
could not help but know the anguish and despair of the ex 
hausted leaders on Corregidor and Bataan. Many hours o 
work went into President Roosevelt s cautious answer to Mac- 

My reply must emphatically deny the possibility of this Gov 
ernment s agreement to the political aspects of President Quez6n s 
proposal. I authorize you to arrange for the capitulation of the 
Filipino elements of the defending forces, when and if in your 
opinion that course appears necessary and always having in mind 
that the Filipino troops are in the service of the United States. 
Details of all necessary arrangements will be left in your hands, 
including plans for segregation of forces and the withdrawal, if 

your judgment so dictates, of American elements to Fort Mills 
[Corregidor]. The timing also will be left to you. 

American forces will continue to keep our flag flying in the 
Philippines so long as there remains any possibility of resistance. 
I have made these decisions in complete understanding of your 
military estimate that accompanied President Quez6n*s message 
to me. The duty and the necessity of resisting Japanese aggres 
sion to the last transcends in importance any other obligation 
now facing us in the Philippines. . . . 

I therefore give you this most difficult mission in full under 
standing of the desperate nature to which you may shortly be 
reduced. The service that you and the American members of your 
command can render to your country in the titanic struggle now 
developing is beyond all possibility of appraisement. . . . 

There then followed the suggestion that Mrs. Sayre and the 
MacArthur family be given the privilege of accompanying 
Quez6n s official party to Australia by submarine and then on 
to the United States. Quezon tried to soften the blow to Mac- 
Arthur s pride, but no words could ease his sense of humiliation. 
Then Quezon turned to the subject of Jean and Arthur accom 
panying him and his family, i and when they left. 

The General sought Jean, and quietly they talked it over. 
The military situation was rapidly deteriorating, and there 
might not be another such favorable chance of escape for the 
two he loved so deeply. Jean must make the decision herself. 

In a very real way it was the final test, the culmination of the 
oddly beautiful love story of this lonely man and this gracious 
and spirited woman, 20 years his junior. She must consider 
the little boy who in a few weeks would be 4 years old. 

"We have drunk from the same cup," she finally said. "We 
three shall stay together." 

The General now reported back to the Filipino President, 
his own dear and loyal friend. When he had heard the deci 
sion, Quezon slowly shook his head. He was almost speechless 
from the impact of MacArthur s words. 

"You are signing their death warrant, General," he whis 
pered. But he sensed that this was neither the time nor the place 
for argument. 

MacArthur wrote out his joint answer to Marshall s personal 


inquiry of four days before and to this latest suggestion that 
his family leave. They would remain on Corregidor with him 
and "share the fate of the garrison." He would fight to destruc 
tion on Bataan, and then do the same on Corregidor. 

"I have not the slightest intention in the world of surrender 
ing or capitulating the Filipino forces of my command/ he 
continued. "There has never been the slightest wavering 
among my troops. * 

The following day Marshall answered that he was concerned 
over the sentence that read that he and his family would 
"share the fate of the garrison." There was even a hint that 
there might be another assignment that would necessitate his 
being separated from his family under increased peril and 
great embarrassment. 

In the same message was included an inquiry about anti-air 
craft ammunition, and when MacArthur replied on February 
15, he answered this specific inquiry but made no mention of 
the personal part of the communication. 

It was a day of anxiety on the Rock and in the wooded 
hills of Bataan. On this day of February 15 the "impregna 
ble" fortress of Singapore fell, and now the Japanese held Ma 
laya and most of Borneo and the Celebes. The way was open to 
Sumatra and Java, and on to the south lay the prize of Aus 

Boldly MacArthur cabled Washington that there was still a 
chance for an attack on the extended Japanese sea lines of com 
munication. The desperate situation still could be reversed if 
the Navy, with its powerful carrier force, was willing to take 
the risk. 

At the moment MacArthur was not aware of the growing 
magic of his name. As early as February 5 the House of Repre 
sentatives rang with speeches in his praise. 

The professional politicians around the White House took 
note. With the Presidential elections still two and a half years 
away could it be that the far-sighted Republicans were groom 
ing the new military hero as a candidate? 

MacArthur, totally unaware of these happenings, kept a tight 
rein on the desperate fighting on Bataan. Returning from an 
inspection that took him to the forward command posts, he 

found President Quez6n worried over MacArthur s safety. He 
laughed off the President s words of caution and announced 
that he proposed soon to set up his own advance headquarters 
on Bataan. 

Quezon was shocked. He earnestly cautioned MacArthur 
that should anything happen to him the whole defense would 
immediately collapse. The morale of the command, particu 
larly of the Filipino troops, depended upon his well-being. Even 
the General, the President insisted, could not realize the depth 
of the devotion felt for him by the officers and soldiers of the 
Philippine Army. No longer did they look to America or even 
to President Roosevelt to save them and their country. It was 
to MacArthur alone that they turned. 

MacArthur did his best to relieve the ailing leader of his 
concern, insisting in a light vein that the Japanese had not yet 
made the bullet with his name on it. But Quezon was not to 
be dissuaded. MacArthur s serious response that at times even 
the supreme commander must bolster morale by his own per 
sonal display of courage failed to win over the Filipino leader. 
Largely as a result of this pressure MacArthur made no more 
trips to Bataan, although its wooded areas were less open to 
accurate heavy bombing than the small and exposed Rock. 
As a result of this deference to the wishes of the weak and 
failing Quez6n, MacArthur was subjected to endless attacks on 
his courage, some even by officers and men in sister services. 
The high point in calumny was reached in the coining of the 
bitter phrase "Dug-out Doug/* so often to be repeated in Wash 
ington by the anti-MacArthur groups. 

At the time and during the years to follow it has been diffi 
cult for his countrymen to understand the peculiar hold that 
MacArthur had not only on the people of the Philippines but 
on all the native races of Asia and the Western Pacific. Pos 
sibly it had to do with his inherent sympathy for their aspira 
tions toward new national and social freedoms and for their 
revolt against the ancient imperialism of their former over 
lords. Such leaders as Quezon and Romulo were to give it ex 
pression in these perilous days of the invasion, and it was their 
confidence and urgings that inspired him to use his famous 
statement, "I shall return!" 


The Quezon family and several high officials of his govern 
ment left Corregidor by submarine late on the night of Feb 
ruary 20. For several days there had been conferences going 
on in Washington between Richard Casey, the Australian 
Minister, and the British, Dutch and U. S. officials, with 
the result that the United States finally agreed to accept the 
major responsibility for the eastern half of the American- 
British-Dutch-Chinese areas. This included in particular the 
Dutch East Indies, Australia and her island approaches and, of 
course, the Philippines. The western portion of the vast area 
would still remain the responsibility of the British. 

On February 21 an important Cabinet meeting was held in 
Canberra, Australia, at which it was decided to ask formally 
that General MacArthur be ordered to Australia at once and be 
given command of the area newly assigned to the United 
States. The same day General Marshall radioed MacArthur 
that President Roosevelt was considering the proposition of or 
dering him to Mindanao, where a base of operations for a relief 
force for Luzon might be set up if a successful allied air and 
naval counterattack from the Dutch East Indies materialized. 
Marshall s wire continued: 

The foregone considerations underlie the tentative decision 
of the President, but we are not sufficiently informed as to the 
situation and circumstances to be certain that the proposal meets 
the actual situation. 

Prime Minister Curtin s spectacular demand for MacArthur 
had now reached the White House. Without waiting for Mac- 
Arthur s answer to Marshall s message of the previous day, the 
President sent a personal radio message ordering him to pro 
ceed to Mindanao as quickly as possible, and as soon as he had 
stabilized defenses there, to go on to Australia. 

It was the final blow that MacArthur s realism had felt 
must come sooner or later. He was now summarily ordered to 
leave his comrades in arms for a far more important assign 
ment. He was not to be permitted the honor of sharing their 

He walked from his desk in the tunnel and slowly made his 

way to the little house where Jean and Arthur stayed between 
bombing raids. 

He felt physically exhausted from the helplessness of his sit 
uation. For the first time in his life it seemed that he must 
disobey a formal order, even though it be from the President of 
the United States. He would demand the right to stay with his 
troops and share their fate. 

His quiet determination grew as he laid bare his thoughts to 
Jean. She had no word of admonition or advice. She could only 
steel his resolve. 

Finally he sent his orderly for Dick Sutherland, his chief of 

[Some years later MacArthur described (to the author) 
the tragic decision he had to make: "I fully expected to be 
killed. I would never have surrendered. If necessary I would 
have sought the end in some final charge/ He hesitated be 
fore he spoke again: "I suppose the law of averages was against 
my lasting much longer under any circumstances. I would prob 
ably have been killed in a bombing raid or by artillery fire. 
. . . And Jean, and the boy might have been destroyed in some 
final general debacle/ ] 

He showed Sutherland the decoded message from the Presi 
dent and bluntly explained that he could not leave his men. 
He started to write out his refusal to obey the order from his 

But the impossibility of any such action was made clear to 
him. Had he not been assured that a great American force was 
rapidly being built up in Australia a concentration of planes, 
tanks, ships and men? With this he could hurriedly mount a 
rescue command and return to the Islands. And there was the 
immediate alternative that he might ask for a postponement of 
his departure from Corregidor. 

He delayed his final decision for two days. When it was evi 
dent that there was no other way out, he sent the President a 
reserved message of acceptance. He insisted that the failure to 
support the Philippines properly had created the difficult situa 
tion which he had been able to meet only because of the very 
special confidence the Filipino people and Army had in him. 
He explained frankly that his sudden departure might result 


in the collapse of the Filipino lines, and he asked that his de 
parture be delayed until the psychological moment. 

"Please be guided by me in this matter," he concluded. "I 
know the situation here in the Philippines and unless the right 
moment is chosen for the delicate operation a sudden collapse 
might result. . . . These people are depending upon me now; 
any idea that might develop in their minds that I was being 
withdrawn for any other reason than to bring them immediate 
relief could not be explained." 

Two days later he received a message bearing Marshall s 
name: "Your No. 358 has been carefully considered by the 
President. He has directed that full decision as to timing of 
your departure and details of method be left in your hands." 

MacArthur radioed that the arrangements were satisfactory. 
For some reason not understood at the time, Japanese pressure 
on the battle lines in Bataan had lessened, and probing efforts 
by American and Filipino troops had disclosed that portions of 
a crack division of Japanese troops had been withdrawn from 
the Islands, and that the enemy line at the moment was only 
thinly held. This might mean that the enemy was pulling back 
in preparation for a major attack. But if such an attack did not 
materialize, MacArthur radioed that "we may be approaching 
the stalemate of positional warfare." 

[After the war was over the facts came out: The enemy was 
re-grouping his forces and waiting for siege guns to arrive 
from the Hong Kong area. During this time of temporizing, 
MacArthur even considered the possibility of a break-through 
from Bataan to the Zambales mountains of western Luzon, 
where his liberated forces might continue an intensive guerilla 

Ten days after the message ordering his withdrawal, Mar 
shall jogged him with the word that conditions in Australia 
made urgent his early arrival there. In a previous radio he had 
been informed that the British-American Combined Chiefs of 
Staff had ordered Field Marshall Wavell to dissolve his staff 
and turn the command of operations over to the Netherlands 
authorities. But MacArthur would not be under this jurisdic 
tion, and he was to continue to communicate directly with the 
War Department. 

[A sidelight of some importance appeared a number of 
years later when the forceful Patrick J. Hurley told of a singu 
lar talk he had had with Field Marshall Wavell shortly before 
MacArthur s relief and during the most desperate days of the 
Java campaign. The fine old British soldier explained that for 
some time he had been watching MacArthur in the newsreels 
and releases and studying his background and record. "He is a 
superb battle commander, but I think he demands personal 
publicity/ Wavell went on. "If he were theatre commander, I 
fear he might wake up some morning and find he had lost one 
of his armies." Hurley at once made an elaborate defense of 
MacArthur, explaining how it was necessary for an American 
commander to take careful stock of the public s reactions to 
him and his actions. "At heart MacArthur is most conserva 
tive/ Hurley remarked. "He is really a Highland Scotsman 
and watches every possible enemy. He is experienced and can 
be completely trusted in every emergency." The following 
morning Wavell, himself a Scots Highlander, read to Gen 
eral Hurley a cable he was dispatching to Churchill, rec 
ommending MacArthur in the highest terms as a theatre 
commander. ... It is interesting to note that in May of this 
same year of 1942, Chief of Staff Marshall s orders sending 
Hurley to Egypt and then to Russia contained the definite or 
der that he was not to see Field Marshall Wavell again.] 

On March 10 MacArthur felt that the situation on Bataan 
would permit him to leave, and he so cabled Washington. Two 
evenings later he and a party of 20 boarded four swift PT 
boats. A submarine of the same type that had carried the 
Quezon and Sayre parties was available, but MacArthur in 
sisted on going out by what seemed to many the more precar 
ious way. 

A week before his departure from Corregidor MacArthur began 
formulating his final plans for the forces and command setup 
he would leave behind him. First, he split the Visayan-Minda- 
nao force, comprising all the troops on the islands south of 
Luzon, into two commands: Brigadier General Wm. F. Sharp, 


previously in full command, would now have only the great 
island of Mindanao, which MacArthur planned to use as a base 
for the counterattack he hoped to make from Australia; the 
middle islands of the Visayan group would fall to Brigadier 
General Bradford G. Chynoweth, now at Cebu. An independent 
force called Harbor Defense, comprising Corregidor and the 
three small island forts in Manila Bay, would be under Briga 
dier General George F. Moore. Major General Wainwright, II 
Corps commander on Bataan, would be relieved of his corps 
and would lead the Luzon Force, comprising both corps on 
Bataan and all troops scattered over Luzon. 

The over-all command of the whole Philippine forces would 
remain under control of the United States Army Forces Far 
East, which would still function on Corregidor, with promoted 
Brigadier General Lewis C. Beebe in direct charge as Deputy 
Chief of Staff of USAFFE. Thus MacArthur, although 3,000 
miles away in Australia, would still be in supreme command of 
the Philippines through his deputy chief of staff on Corregi 
dor. Apparently the plan was not explained to General Mar 
shall, in Washington, for almost immediately after MacArthur 
had arrived in Australia Wainwright was promoted to the 
grade of lieutenant general and dispatches began to arrive 
from Washington addressed to the Commanding General of 
Philippine Forces and obviously intended for him. General 
Beebe, ordered by MacArthur to keep command as deputy 
chief of staff, was confused and shortly a most embarrassing 
situation arose as to who was actually in command Wain 
wright or MacArthur s deputy chief of staff. So apparently 
Marshall had moved without consulting MacArthur, and Mac- 
Arttair, in turn, had neglected to inform Marshall of the new 
chain of command, which was well within his province to 

It is obvious that MacArthur had his own reasons for ar 
ranging the separate commands as he did; eventual defeat 
was only a matter of time, and it may well be that he real 
ized that as long as he held tight to the actual over-all com 
mand the Japanese could force no single American commander 
to order the surrender of all the American-Philippine forces 
scattered throughout the many islands. MacArthur was partic- 

ularly interested in holding as much as he could in Mindanao 
(even though it be only jungle and mountain hide-outs) in the 
hope he would be able to use the island as a staging area for 
some future rescue force. 

On the other hand, the split command was distasteful to 
Wainwright, who at the start had no authority over Corregidor 
and the supply base there. But the eventual cost of the single 
command, authorized by Marshall and the President, became 
painfully evident when Wainwright was forced to surrender all 
his scattered commands. 

Occupied and harassed as MacArthur was during his first 
weeks in Australia, his anguish regarding the plight of his com 
rades on Bataan apparently never left his mind. Sometime be 
fore he left Corregidor he had evolved a plan for some possible 
future action conceived around the idea of a break-out from 
Bataan. It was based on the desperate chance that he might be 
able to fight his way to the Japanese base at Olongapo, in the 
northwest corner of the Bataan peninsula, capture supplies 
there and then dissolve into the Zambales mountains to carry 
on a determined guerilla warfare. In a message he sent to Gen 
eral Marshall on April i, he said that he had not explained 
this to Wainwright for fear it might tend to influence his de 

In this same message to the Chief of Staff in Washington 
MacArthur made a suggestion that showed clearly the despera 
tion of his thinking, and the simple courage that gripped him. 
He had urged Wainwright never to surrender but to fight on 
until death. He now cabled that he was ready to fly back to Ba 
taan and personally lead this last forlorn hope. In his own 
words, he would "rejoin this command temporarily and take 
charge of this movement." 

Marshall s reply was noncommittal. But to MacArthur there 
was an urgency that was inspired by a deep sense of duty 
and honor that called for the right of a commander who ad 
vised death rather than surrender to share in the fate of his 
men. From the far-removed safety of Washington under quiet 
suggestion from London to abandon the Philippines and con 
centrate everything on the victory over Hitler this passionate 
concern of MacArthur s for the trapped men around Manila 


Bay and his willingness to die with them must have seemed 
rather unrealistic and bizarre. 

The collapse of the starved, beaten and demoralized troops 
on Bataan came exactly 29 days after MacArthur left Corregi- 
dor. On April 7 Major General Edward J. King, commander 
on Bataan, sent his chief of staff to Wainwright with the painful 
news that his collapse was imminent. He was ordered to counter 
attack. Two days later the brave and able King, exhausted and 
overrun, had the moral courage to disobey his oral orders from 
Wainwright and to accept the full responsibility of asking the 
Japanese for surrender terms. The Jap conquerors demanded 
that King surrender Corregidor, as well as Bataan, which, of 
course, he had no authority to do. 

MacArthur was fully aware of the impending disaster, but 
the actual news of the collapse came to him as a shock. He im 
mediately wrote out in pencil a brief message to be radioed in 
the clear to Wainwright, which showed the depth of his emo 

The Bataan Force went out as it would have wished, fighting 
to the end its flickering forlorn hope. No army has ever done 
so much with so little, and nothing became it more than its last 
hour of trial and agony. To the weeping mothers of its dead, I 
can only say that the sacrifice and halo of Jesus of Nazareth has 
descended upon their sons, and that God will take them unto 

MacArthur knew that only a few short weeks now separated 
Corregidor from its doom. And he was conscious, too, of the 
unspeakable ordeal that these ten thousand men and the hand 
ful of brave women were going through. There was bitterness 
in his heart when he heard that the Japanese had placed heavy 
bombardment artillery in the immediate vicinity of the hospi 
tal area in lower Bataan and were shelling the Rock, night and 
day, from this sanctuary. 

Wainwright resisted with all the courage and determination 
of a fine old soldier, but the noose had been pulled tight, and 
finally there was nothing he could do but surrender. He tried 
desperately to gain the best possible terms, but he was help 
less. On May 6 he was forced to bend before complete enemy 

dictation. Immediately before he entered into the capitulation 
he radioed General Sharp on Mindanao that Sharp was no 
longer under his (Wainwright s) orders and was now exclusively 
under MacArthur s command. 

When Wainwright told General Homma that he had no au 
thority over any troops outside Luzon, the surrender negotia 
tions were broken oft. The severest pressure was now brought 
on the American commander, and finally in utter desperation 
he agreed to complete surrender of the Rock and to order all 
commanders everywhere to give up. A rumor was spread that if 
any resistance took place anywhere in the Islands, the 10,000 
troops on Corregidor would be destroyed. 

When word of the disaster arrived in Australia, MacArthur 
wrote out his final comment on the courage and resistance of 
the men who had held the Rock and the entrance to Manila 
Bay inviolate for five months lacking only a day. The bitter 
memories and heartaches would never leave him. 

Corregidor needs no comment from me. It has sounded its 
own story at the mouth of its guns. It has scrolled its own epitaph 
on enemy tablets. But through the bloody haze of its last re 
verberating shot, I shall always seem to see a vision of grim, 
gaunt, ghastly men, still unafraid. 


And now came one of those strange and almost unaccountable 
bits of history that often touch war with moments of high 
drama. Wainwright, trapped and helpless, had been under 
standably intimidated into broadcasting the order directing all 
his subordinate commanders, everywhere in the archipelago, 
to surrender immediately. Scattered throughout all the larger 
islands were considerable forces of Filipino and American 
troops and guerillas, who had plenty of munitions cached in 
mountain hide-outs and had every intention of fighting on. 
With Wainwright s broadcast at midnight on May 7, informing 
all officers to surrender at once, Major General Wm. F. Sharp, 
in Mindanao, wirelessed MacArthur for instructions. MacAr 
thur, in Australia, answered that Wainwright s order had no 
validity and ordered Sharp to break up his forces into small 


guerilla groups and take to the hills. He added, however, "You 
have full authority to make any decision that may be required 
in this emergency." 

General Sharp broke up his command, but on May 9 Colo 
nel Traywick, Wainwright s representative, arrived by plane 
with a Japanese officer. Traywick carried a letter from Wain- 
wright explaining the circumstances. With it went the threat 
that if Sharp s entire force did not capitulate at once, the Japs 
might open fire on the helpless Corregidor garrison. A second 
rumor had it that for every day of delay ten American officers 
on Corregidor would be shot. 

General Sharp decided that he had no other course but to 
radio all commanders in the Mindanao-Visayan group to sur 
render. One officer, Brigadier General Bradford G. Chynoweth, 
commander of Cebu, definitely refused and made his plans 
to transfer his command to Leyte, where he would organize a 
large guerilla band. He was clearly under the impression that 
only MacArthur could order a general surrender of all the 
forces in the Philippines, and he was prepared to fight on. May 
15, an envoy arrived from Sharp, and at the same time there 
came an announcement, apparently from Stateside, that Mac- 
Arthur was no longer "in communication" with the Phil 
ippines. The following day the gallant Chynoweth had to 
march his men down from the hills. 

On nearby Panay, where there was a force of some 7,000 
Philippine and American troops, Colonel Ralph W. Christie, 
commanding officer, bluntly questioned General Sharp s latest 
orders. In desperation he wirelessed that without MacArthur s 
orders he felt his surrender might be treason. He asked Sharp 
simply to give him a free hand and stated: "I strongly urge 
you to have the approval of the War Department through 
MacArthur/ Hard-pressed Sharp wirelessed back: "No further 
comments from you are desired. Acknowledge this message and 
state action taken at once." 

And so it was that the bravest of the brave were forced to 
surrender under the rumored threat of ghastly reprisals on 
Corregidor. Had General Marshall permitted MacArthur to 
continue to handle the whole Philippine situation from his 
command post in Australia and not interfere with MacAr- 

thur s arrangements, it is possible that guerilla resistance in the 
central and lower islands would have long continued. It would 
have taken thousands of Japanese troops, needed elsewhere, to 
clean out the organized forces that the American officers, scat 
tered throughout the Islands, were forced to surrender at this 

The real difficulty lay in Marshall s early wireless that the 
full authority and command of the Islands rested in Wain- 
wright alone. This had been picked up by the Japanese, and 
when Wainwright tried to deny to the enemy that he had au 
thority to order the scattered units to the south to surrender, 
he was confronted with orders from Marshall. 

Wainwright had done his best, and he was in no way to 
blame for the unfortunate circumstances in which Marshall s 
hurried action had placed him. Had there been no interference 
from Washington, there would at least have been validity to 
Wainwright s contention that he had no authority to order gen 
eral surrender throughout the Islands. If MacArthur erred at 
all, it was only in his failure to notify Washington of his new 
setup in the chain of command. Certainly it was MacArthur s 
right and duty to make such dispositions as he chose, because 
the Philippines were still completely under his over-all com 

The Japanese conquerors were so bitter and angry at their 
failure to overrun Luzon and Corregidor in the two months 
that had been allotted them that they were prepared to go to 
the cruelest possible ends to force the surrender of all organ 
ized resistance in the Islands. 

So deadly would this threat of reprisal against the helpless 
Corregidor garrison have been, that it is to be seriously 
doubted if the scattered American commanders could have 
long stood against the terrible pressure. Most of them would 
have been forced to give way before some appalling ultima 
tum, involving the lives of their comrades on the Rock. Even 
if Wainwright s authority had not been increased, and MacAr 
thur, now in Australia, had continued to hold actual command, 
the grim reality of the Japanese threats might still have suc 
ceeded in bringing about surrender. 

MacArthur himself might have been forced to adopt with 


, all the scattered American commanders the same course that 
he followed in his cabled instructions to General Sharp on 
Mindanao: "You have full authority to make any decision that 
may be required in this emergency/ Thus the net result might 
have been the same ultimate surrender of the various units 
under the threat of deadly reprisals. 

In MacArthur s eyes the fundamental error had been made 
months and even years before war came, when there had been 
ample time to build up an adequate defense in the Islands 
had the will been there, and had British and later the Russian 
influence been less powerful. 


During the days immediately before MacArthur had boarded 
his PT boat he had been concerned with the problem of the 
make-up of the personnel of the party to accompany him to 
Australia. He hesitated to strip his experienced USAFFE staff on 
Corregidor, but he knew that immediately on his arrival in 
Australia he would have urgent need of the men who had long 
been working closely with him. He studied the list made out 
by his chief of staff, and finally settled on 18 service men: 16 
other officers, his sergeant secretary, and himself. 

Besides Chief of Staff Sutherland and his deputy, Brigadier 
General Richard Marshall, the list included Admiral Rockwell 
and Captain H. G. Ray of the Navy; Brigadier Generals 
Spencer B. Akin, William F. Marquat, Hugh J. Casey and Har 
old H. George; Colonels Charles A. Willoughby and Charles 
P. Stivers; Lt. Colonels Sidney L. Huff, L. A. Diller, Francis H. 
Wilson and Joe R. Sherr; Major Charles H. Morehouse, Cap 
tain Joseph McMicking and Master Sergeant Paul P. Rogers. 
They were all indispensable to MacArthur in forming his 
new staff. 

The MacArthur detractors found a new opportunity for re 
newing their criticism of the General. There now was whis 
pered a particularly vicious story that had not the slightest 
basis of fact: By word of mouth and by letter and print the 
story was spread that desperately ill American nurses were de- 

nied transportation from Bataan while the furniture and even 
the piano from the General s apartment atop the Manila Hotel 
were loaded in the four PT boats that made the trip to Min 
danao, and then transferred to planes carrying the little party 
to Australia. 

The actual fact was quite different: Each of the 21 people 
taken off the Rock, including the General and the thrve mem 
bers of his immediate family, was permitted a single suitcase. 
There was no other luggage of any kind. 

A second endlessly recurring charge centered on the fact 
that the Cantonese nurse, Ah Cheu, was taken out in prefer 
ence to some American. Ever since young Arthur was a few 
days old this amah had been an intimate member of the fam 
ily. If and when Corregidor finally succumbed, it was almost 
certain that this Chinese woman would be singled out for spe 
cial torture and probable death. The Far Eastern Commander 
took it for granted that it remained his unquestioned and sole 
prerogative to make his own decision regarding this devoted 
and adopted member of his family. 

The continued smears and bitter personal digs that revolved 
around this perilous voyage were not allowed to die out com 
pletely. Never once did the General bother to attempt to an 
swer them or to justify his actions. 

During the dangerous sea and air trip the General s spirits 
were constantly revived by the thought that once he reached 
his new assignment he would find a sufficient force awaiting 
him so that he could immediately organize a great relief expe 
dition for the Philippines. If he was fortunate enough to sur 
vive the coming ordeal of the hazardous voyage to Australia, 
Colonel Carlos Romulo on Corregidor was to announce over 
the Voice of Freedom radio MacArthur s solemn pledge, "I 
shall return!" 

MacArthur s word alone still carried weight and promise. 
The Filipino soldiers and civilians believed in him. "Even We 
shall return r would have lacked the magic that rested in the 
simple pledge I shall return! " Romulo explained some years 

Rarely did the General refer to the long and dangerous jour 
ney that started from the Rock on March 11. The subsequent 


fate of Corregidor and Bataan weighed too heavily on his 

To an old friend [the author] staying at his headquarters al 
most two years later, he relived the great adventure. So sim 
ple were his words and so accurate the sequence he unfolded, 
that it is repeated here from an account written at the time for 
a book called MacArthur and the War Against Japan, pub 
lished by Charles Scribner s Sons: 

It was seven fifteen when the General walked across his porch 
to where his wife was seated, "J ean >" he said gently, "it is time 
to mount up." Quietly they went down to the South Dock where 
Bulkeley waited with his PT-41. Shelling had been intermittent 
all day in the dock area. They boarded the vessel all but the 
General. He had stopped and turned to bid Corregidor his fare 

The men on the dock stared at the lone motionless figure they 
knew so well. In his war-worn clothes he loomed gaunt and for 
lorn. His eyes roved the desperate scene before him in all its 
naked bleakness. Almost every building, every shed, every tree 
had been burned and blasted. The great fires that had raged had 
left their black streaks from one end of the Rock to the other. 
Great crevasses were torn everywhere. Corregidor looked like a 
tortured body that had been ripped and gouged and twisted into 
something no longer human. 

His eyes seemed to search through the broken, shattered ruins 
up to the top where he could still catch the gleam of the barrels 
of the big guns. Up there in command of the Top Side was his 
classmate, Paul Bunker. Forty years ago they had been associated 
together on one of West Point s most famous football teams 
Bunker, the star, a double All-American MacArthur in the more 
humble role of team manager! 

It was just dusk and the faint night breeze was beginning to 
ripple the waters. A strange silence had fallen as though death 
were passing by. Even the firing had ceased. 

Slowly the General raised his cap that famous cap. Even 
through his tan he looked white and ashen, and there was the 
suspicion of a twitch at the muscles of his mouth. One could 
have heard a pin drop. 

He looked around as he stepped aboard. Every man on the 
dock stood bareheaded. They all knew he had not more than one 
chance in ten. 

Then came the General s quiet voice "Cast off, Buck." 

At 8:30 the four boats rendezvoused at the opening to the 
mine field. They crept through, led by a navy mine layer. At 
9:15 they opened up the throttles and roared away. 

Very shortly they began to pick up Japanese signal fires. All 
along the coast the enemy had established a system of signalling 
by fire that might have been old Indian signals. The warning 
signals could now clearly be seen, but the sound of the PT 
engines was like the sound of bombers, and the watchers mis 
took it. 

The PT boats ran in a diamond formation, and the orders were 
to attack anything that blocked the way. Each of the boats car 
ried torpedoes and .5o-caliber machine guns, and the General 
felt they could break through any ordinary blockading line. If 
they were attacked from the air they were to hold together, put 
up a curtain of fire, and depend on their high speed maneuver 

Off to the left they soon made out Japanese blockading ships. 
Immediately they changed course to pass to the west and north. 
All night long similar alarms took place, but with great skill 
and good luck the Japanese craft were by-passed. In the diamond 
pattern Bulkeley s boat led off. Admiral Rockwell in the fourth 
boat closed up the rear. 

The seas became increasingly heavy, and the little boats 
pounded and rolled. It was difficult to hold formation, and about 
3:30 in the morning, the pattern was broken despite every effort 
to hold it. They had planned to rendezvous that morning at a 
deserted island. When they lost formation, the lead boat tried 
for several hours to collect the other boats, but was unsuccessful. 
When day broke it headed for another deserted island, three sail 
ing hours north of the rendezvous. Here they hoped to find cover 
to hide during the day. 

In a distant cove they made out a small craft which was iden 
tified as one of their own ships. But those aboard failed to 
recognize the General s boat and prepared for conflict, dumping 
their spare gas drums and manning their guns. At the point of 
opening fire General Akin fortunately identified MacArthur s 
PT-boat and shouted "Hold fire!" His keen eyesight prevented 
a horrible catastrophe. 

They remained in the cove until about 2:30 in the afternoon, 
anxiously scanning the skies for the enemy s inevitable searching 
planes. To be spotted would be to be lost. Little Arthur was 


prostrated and was running a high fever. The amah was deathly 
sick. The General and his wife were good sailors and had weath 
ered it well. The General ordered the vessel to try to make the 
original rendezvous point, a wild and uninhabited island. 

The seas were running high and dangerous. The second boat 
had dumped its spare drums when it had mistaken MacArthur s 
craft for an enemy ship and its gas was running low. They found 
Admiral Rockwell at the rendezvous, and took on the passengers 
from the boat that was out of running for lack of fuel. Around 
6:30, they set out to cross the Mindanao Sea for Cagayan. Rock 
well s boat led and Buck s followed. The fourth boat arrived at 
the rendezvous about one hour after they left, and immediately 
followed them into the Mindanao Sea alone. 

Before darkness closed in they ran into enemy destroyers, but 
these apparently failed to pick them up, for they slipped by them. 
They were getting all they could out of the old engines now. The 
Mindanao Sea was choppy and they were taking heavy punish 
ment. It was like being in a cement mixer, which buffeted them 
from one side to the other. The next day most of the passengers 
were black and blue from head to foot 

It had just turned daybreak when they arrived at Cagayan in 
north central Mindanao. The General turned to Buck and his 
officers and men of the two boats. "It was done In true naval 
style/ he gratefully pronounced. "I take great honor in award 
ing the boats crews the Silver Star for gallantry and fortitude 
hi the face of heavy odds/ 

General Sharp met them at the dock. He was General Mac- 
Arthur s Commander in Mindanao and had a force of about 
25,000 men. In the Visayas, General Chynoweth had about so, 
ooo men. These were units of the Philippine Army in those 
sectors which had been mobilized when the war broke. It had 
been General MacArthur s plan to use these troops in guerilla 
warfare, if the defense of Bataan failed. 

Four bombers had been ordered from Australia to meet the 
party. Two failed to arrive and the third crashed in the Bay. 
The fourth was so old and dilapidated that General .Sharp had 
started it back to Australia without passengers before Mac- 
Arthur s arrived. 

Three replacement planes were at once started from. Australia 
and two of them finally arrived. In the meantime the Japanese 
had word that the MacArthur staff had reached Mindanao and 

The planes arrived just before midnight, and took off shortly 
afterwards. They were flying over enemy-held country patrolled 
by enemy planes, but under cover of the night they managed to 
evade all contacts. At 9 that morning they arrived at Batchelor 
Field, forty miles south of Port Darwin. "It was close/ said the 
General on landing: "but that s the way it is in war. You win 
or lose, live or die and the difference is just an eyelash." 

But they still faced danger. The Japanese evidently had spotted 
the two planes, for in less than three hours after the Forts had 
landed on Batchelor Field, a heavy air attack was launched. The 
General s party had left for Alice Springs by a scant ten minutes 
when the dive bombers and fighters roared in. But the priceless 
quarry was gone. 


On March 17, when his plane from Mindanao came down at 
Batchelor Field near Darwin in Northern Australia, MacAr- 
thur turned to an American officer standing by and asked how 
many American troops were now in Australia. 

The officer was a little dumbfounded at the question. "As 
far as I know, sir, there are very few troops here/ he an 

MacArthur could not believe the words. He spoke in an 
aside to his chief of staff, Dick Sutherland: "Surely he is 

Following a three-hour flight to Alice Springs, there came a 
long rail trip across the endless Australian desert. Late on the 
afternoon of the third day he reached the junction of the wide- 
gauge above Adelaide and found a luxurious private car await 
ing. On it was Dick Marshall, his deputy chief of staff, who 
had been dispatched by air to Melbourne ahead of the rest 
of the party in order to find the true state of affairs. 

To the General s first question Marshall gravely shook his 
head. Instead of a great American troop concentration there 
was practically nothing with which to build a relief force; no 
infantry or tanks; only two National Guard Coast Artillery an 
ti-aircraft regiments, a regiment or two of field artillery and 
two regiments of Engineers and some scattered Air Corps per 
sonnel, with 250 planes in various states of efficiency; a grand 


total of 25,364 U. S. Army and Air personnel. MacArthur 
had left in Bataan and on Corregidor almost three times that 
number of fighting men. 

With this alarming news, came the report that except for 
one brigade of the 6th Division that had just arrived in Perth, 
every experienced unit of the splendid Imperial Australian 
Expeditionary Force of three divisions was still concentrated in 
the Egyptian desert and the Middle East. Yet their own home 
lands were in imminent danger of actual invasion. 

All that night the broken MacArthur walked the darkened 
corridor of his railroad car. 

But when dawn came he had recovered his calm purpose and 



Enemies on 
Two Fronts 


Outline of the continental United States superimposed on the area of the early 
eounteroffensive in the Southwest Pacific theatre. 


MacAxthur was seated on the rear platform of his observation 
car W&en the train pulled into the great station at Melbourne 
at 9 o clock the following morning. It was some moments be 
fore he realized that the cheering thousands crowding into the 
station and overflowing the streets were there to welcome him. 

An official party greeted him and escorted him through the 
station. Outside he inspected a small guard of honor of Ameri 
can soldiers. Since no U. S. infantrymen were available, a pla 
toon of engineers had been brought in. If they had been West 
Point cadets, the old soldier could hardly have been more proud 
of them. 

He was brought over to a little group of Australian and 
American reporters and radio men. While at breakfast in his 
car that morning it was suggested that he might be called 
upon to make some statement on arrival at Melbourne, and 
he had written out by pencil a few notes on a folded sheet of 
paper. But when an announcer from the Australian Broad- 


casting Company held up his hand microphone and asked that 
he say a few words the General spoke extemporaneously and 
straight from his heart: 

I am glad indeed to be in immediate cooperation with the 
Australian soldier. I know him well from World War days and 
admire him greatly. I have every confidence in the ultimate 
success of our joint cause; but success in modern war requires 
something more than courage and a willingness to die; it requires 
careful preparation. This means the furnishing of sufficient 
troops and sufficient material to meet the known strength of the 
potential enemy. No general can make something out of nothing. 
My success or failure will depend primarily upon the resources 
which the respective governments place at my disposal. In any 
event I shall do my best. I shall keep the soldier s faith. 

Within 48 hours after his heartening welcome he learned 
many disturbing facts. It was immediately clear to him that a 
dangerous sense of defeatism had settled down over a large 
part of the seven million people of Australia. Civilians and 
military men alike talked freely of the Brisbane Line, a purely 
imaginary line drawn from Brisbane on the central-east coast 
to Adelaide in the south, on which the fight for the true heart 
of Australia would be made. Below this line were the four or 
five most important cities and the larger proportion of the 
population. The vast empty areas comprising three-quarters of 
the continent to the north and west seemed undefendable and 
after a token resistance would be abandoned to the Japanese. 

In MacArthur s opinion his first problem was to replace this 
psychosis of defeat with the challenging attitude that reflected 
the real character of these brave and stubborn people. Despite 
Churchill s violent disapproval, the three battle-proved Im 
perial divisions were starting on their long and dangerous 
journey home from Egypt and the Middle East. Their ar 
rival would help stimulate confidence, but what was immedi 
ately needed was a bold concept of a new strategy that would 
break the mood of fear and despair. 

Four days after he reached Melbourne MacArthur drove 
the two hundred miles through rolling grasslands and groves 

of eucalyptus trees to the capital at Canberra. There he was 
closeted alone with the Prime Minister, John Curtin, who had 
been responsible to a considerable degree for his assignment 
to Australia. 

In a matter of minutes the two men came to an understand 
ing that was never once broken in letter or spirit. When they 
arose to go to the meeting of the Australian War Council, Mac- 
Arthur put his arm around the shoulder of the sturdy labor 

"Mr. Prime Minister/* he said with obvious fervor and sin 
cerity, "y u and I will see this thing through together." 

That evening he was the guest of honor at a banquet 
given by the Prime Minister and members of the Parliament, 
and the words he spoke there sped by press and radio to the 
last lonely ranch station in the distant Back of Beyond. Aus 
tralia was not to be abandoned and lost. It was a short speech 
to carry such hope and promise: 

Mr. Prime Minister, Distinguished Members of the Common 
wealth Government: 

I am deeply moved by the warmth of greeting extended to me 
by all of Australia. The hospitality of your country is proverbial 
throughout the world, but your reception has far exceeded any 
thing that I could have anticipated. 

Although this is my first trip to Australia I already feel at 
home. There is a link that binds our countries together which 
does not depend upon written protocol, upon treaties of alliance 
or upon diplomatic doctrine. It goes deeper than that. It is that 
indescribable consanguinity of race which causes us to have the 
same aspirations, the same hopes and desires, the same ideals and 
the same dreams of future destiny. 

My presence here is tangible evidence of our unity. I have 
come as a soldier in a great crusade of personal liberty as op 
posed to perpetual slavery. My faith in our ultimate victory is 
invincible, and I bring to you tonight the unbreakable spirit 
of the free man s military code in support of our just cause. That 
code has come down to us from even before the days of knight 
hood and chivalry. It will stand the test of any ethics or philos 
ophies the world has ever known. It embraces the things that are 
right and condemns the things that are wrong. Under its banner 
the free men of the world are united today. 


There can be no compromise. We shall win or we shall die, 
and to this end I pledge the full resources of all the mighty 
power o my country and all the blood of my countrymen. 

Mr. Prime Minister, tonight will be an unforgettable memory 
for me. Your inspiring words and those of your compatriots will 
be emblazoned always in my memory as though they had been 
carved on stone or bronze. Under their inspiration I am taking 
the liberty of assuming the high honor of raising my glass in 
salute to your great country and its great leaders. 

To the millions of discouraged Australians it was as if a 
bright torch of hope had suddenly been lit. Shortly they were 
to be lifted again by MacArthur s words, "We shall make the 
fight for Australia in New Guineal" 

For the moment he had neither a defined theatre nor a di 
rective. The vague terms and promises made by President Roo 
sevelt in his radiograms to Corregidor had left the general 
impression in MacArthur s mind that he would replace Wavell 
at least in the eastern half of the sprawling area of command 
that had once been the responsibility of the British Field Mar 
shal. But indecision and bickering had gripped the Pacific 
Council sitting in Washington, and MacArthur s immediate 
position was still nothing more than commander of the United 
States Army Forces in Australia, which he automatically as 
sumed as senior U. S. officer present. 

New Zealand demanded that it retain control of its own 
home defenses, and the U. S. Navy insisted that it be allotted 
a large South Pacific area that had once been included in 
Wavell s theatre. The British still claimed control over the 
western portion of WavelFs limitless area. So it was not until 
April 18, one month and a day after he arrived in northern 
Australia, that MacArthur could announce the boundaries of 
his Southwest Pacific theatre and his broad directives. 

He was shocked when he had discovered that an American 
Army division which had arrived on the Australian continent 
in the middle of February had been reloaded and shipped 


MacArthur s Southwest Pacific theatre* 

some 750 miles eastward to the French Island of New Cale 
donia. This Patch Force had left Australia 12 days before 
MacArthur s plane had landed at Batchelor Field. The "Ameri- 
cal" division at New Caledonia had been rapidly reinforced and 
shortly the Patch Force alone had more American ground fight 
ing troops than there were in the whole of the American com 
mand in Australia. With it went a considerable air force and 
a far larger navy than remained in the Australian area. 

In the inter-service struggle for Pacific control the IL S. 
Navy had acquired the North, Central and South Pacific areas, 
grouped under the single designation of Central Pacific areas. 
The lower western dividing line was the 160 longitude, so 
that New Caledonia and the Southern Solomon Islands were 
included in the Navy s South Pacific theatre* 

Even before these military developments MacArthur had be 
come the hero of a large segment of the American people 
who were variously anti-New Deal, anti-Roosevelt, anti-inter 
nationalist and anti-Europe-first. From the President and his 
intimate advisors on down through the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 
MacArthur s tremendous popularity was now viewed with grow 
ing concern. Of all the high military figures he alone stood 
in definite opposition to certain Roosevelt-Churchill ideas. He 
had already become a symbol of the belief that the Pacific 
war should not be completely neglected or overshadowed by 
the Atlantic war. 

In April Admiral Ernest J. King replaced the definitely pro- 
British Admiral Stark as Chief of Naval Operations and Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the Navy, and MacArthur now had the 
benefit of an additional strong believer in the Pacific war. But 
soon he was to discover that there was a reverse side to the 
shield, in that among his most stubborn and persistent oppo 
nents, as far as help for his Southwest Pacific area was con 
cerned, were King and his naval commanders. The Navy, cha 
grined and humiliated over its share in the disgraceful tragedy 
at Pearl Harbor, insisted on taking over control of the Pacific 
war. Both MacArthur and the Army, it stubbornly insisted, 
must accept a secondary role in the Navy s private war: in the 
eyes of the Navy men it was a large ocean, with small land areas, 

which committed the U. S. to amphibious tactics and "island 
hopping" and final assault over water. 

It was the natural conclusion that General Marshall would 
automatically oppose Admiral King and his demands for more 
and more control in the Pacific. As a matter of fact the records 
of the Army War Planning Board prove that at times there 
was sturdy opposition to the endless Navy requests. But noth 
ing short of a complete and all-out Army resistance to King s 
demands for enlarged control could have given MacArthur and 
his theatre the protection they needed against submergence by 
the ambitious and influential Navy. 

Meanwhile a strange incident occurred in Congress that was 
further to widen MacArthur s already somewhat strained rela 
tions with the White House. On March 25 a resolution was 
introduced in the Lower House that MacArthur be voted a 
Congressional Medal of Honor. It was passed with applause, 
and three days later the President duly bestowed the highest 
decoration the nation possessed. The significance of the inci 
dent lay in the fact that, despite its name, the medal is 
actually proposed and given by the President and not by Con 
gress. Rarely had Congress openly prodded a President to be 
stow the Congressional Medal of Honor. 

But this was of slight significance compared to events that 
started two months later when the New York Legislature re 
quested that June 13, the day General MacArthur had gradu 
ated from West Point, be designated as MacArthur Day. Gov 
ernor Lehman duly proclaimed the anniversary. At about 
the same time a joint resolution was passed by Congress and 
on June 12 signed by the President designating the same date 
as MacArthur Day. 

When a press conference reporter asked the President what 
he thought of honoring living heroes by thus setting aside 
special days in their honor, the President replied that occa 
sionally he thought it was a good thing. He added that fifteen 
war heroes were coming to see him tomorrow, and he did not 
think tribute to them should be delayed until they were dead. 

But Roosevelt s possible cynicism was by no means reflected 
in the warm-hearted tributes John Curtin paid to the Ameri 
can General at the start of a three-day celebration in Australia. 

MacArthur Day opened the long week end on June 13, with 
Sunday as American Flag Day, and Monday as the official 
birthday of King George VI. 

Despite the first call that Britain and Russia had on 
the American war effort, and the fact that Admiral King and 
his Pacific areas came next, MacArthur finally did begin to 
get reinforcements and supplies. On April 6 the 4ist Na 
tional Guard Infantry Division arrived, and on May 14 the 
3^nd Division disembarked. Of equal importance was the ar 
rival of brigades of the Imperial Australian divisions from the 
Middle East. 

MacArthur now felt certain that the potentially fine naval 
and air base at Rabaul, New Britain, at the northern end 
of the Solomon Seas, was the key take-off spot for further Jap 
anese advances southward. They had seized it on January 
2, but were slow in building it up. Yet it obviously would 
be the staging area for enemy drives either southward toward 
the lower New Guinea area or southeastward down the Solo 
mons to the American-Australian line of communications. In 
early March 1942, the Japanese had captured the airdrome at 
Lae and its sister port of Salamaua on the eastern shore of 
lower New Guinea. 

One hundred and seventy-five miles to the south of Lae, 
across the high Owen Stanley Mountains, lay Port Moresby, 
the strategic advance stronghold that must be captured by 
the enemy before he could hope to invade eastern and north 
ern Australia. Port Moresby was 45 minutes by bomber from 
the Japanese air strips at Lae. 

On May 3 a Japanese task force with aircraft carriers, head 
ing for Milne Bay, attempted to swing around the lower tail 
of New Guinea. It was intercepted by a U.S. task force with 
two aircraft carriers. The Battle of the Coral Sea that ensued 
was the first sea battle in history in which no surface ship fired a 
single round. The American force turned back this vanguard 
of a probable amphibious invasion of Port Moresby, but it was 
an expensive victory. The giant carrier Lexington was lost, and 
the Japanese had only a small escort carrier sunk. But Moresby 
was saved. 

To the east, across the wide Solomon Sea, the Japanese 




had landed and -built a fighter strip below Rabaul at Buka 
Island, the northernmost of the Solomons. Their next move 
was to construct strips on Bougainville, loo-odd miles below 
Buka. On May 3, the day of the Coral Sea battle, Japanese 
were landed on Tulagi, some 200 miles further to the south, 
and the building of a fighter strip was started. The pattern 
was now clear. The Japanese would soon have a series of air 
bases in the Solomons operating southeast from Rabaul, which 
would serve as a succession of stepping stones for their fighter 
planes. Their long-range bombers would thus come under 
fighter protection as they drove on southward to cut the 
American- Australian line of communication. 

This series of fighter bases and utility harbors formed the 
dangerous left or eastern prong of their two-pronged advance 
from Rabaul. On to the westward, 600 miles across the Solo 
mon Sea, lay the second Japanese prong, resting for the mo 
ment on Lae and Salamaua, but pointing straight toward Port 
Moresby, Milne Bay and then on to the south to Australia itself. 

Rabaul with its magnificent harbor and potential air facil 
ities was thus the heart of the southern Japanese offensive 
possibilities. Directly above it lay the great naval and air base 
of Truk, and to the northwest Yap and the Palau Islands in 
the Central Pacific area. Rabaul was thus the ideal half-way 
base for future enemy thrusts to the south and southwest. But 
MacArthur saw that it was still only lightly held and suggested 
that if the Joint Chiefs of Staff would give him an adequate 
carrier force and proper help, he could pinch it off before it 
could be reinforced and turned into an almost impregnable 
sea, air and ground fortress. 

While MacArthur s recommendations were being consid 
ered, Admiral Nimitz at Honolulu came forward with plans 
for a raid on the new Japanese base at Tulagi, in the lower 
Solomons, some 500 miles below Rabaul. He suggested that a 
single Marine raider battalion could do the job, and his idea 
met the approval of Admiral King. Both Marshall and Mac- 
Arthur insisted, however, that the operation would demand a 
much larger force than a battalion. 

The Japanese naval code had long ago been cracked, and 
U. S. naval intelligence was thus able to learn that since two 

big American air carriers were still in the Coral Sea, the Japa 
nese now planned to send their own carrier force to the Cen 
tral Pacific in a move to crush Midway and then capture key 
islands in the Aleutians. Nimitz immediately rendezvoused his 
carrier forces close to Midway one flat-top coming 3,000 miles 
at full speed from the Coral Sea and on June 3 and 4 their 
planes located and sank four of the Japanese flat-tops. Over 
night the entire naval ratio in the Pacific was changed to 
America s advantage. It was a master stroke. 

Four days after the brilliant Naval Air victory at Mid 
way MacArthur again urged that an all-out surprise attack be 
launched at the earliest possible moment against Rabaul. He 
now had two full U. S. divisions and the experienced Imperial 
Australian 7th Division that could be used as occupying troops 
after an amphibious force had won the beachheads. He would 
need the loan of a specially trained Marine amphibious di 
vision to make the initial landing. And until fighter strips 
could be captured or built, he would need carrier-based fighter 
planes to support his bombers attacking from their home air 
fields at Port Moresby. 

The one requirement that was absolutely necessary was 
unity of command. Since the fighting would be in MacArthur s 
theatre, it was obvious to the army planners that he must be 
in command. But as the initial action would be of a naval 
nature, a naval officer, temporarily serving under MacArthur, 
should head the sea task force. 

General Marshall personally presented the bold idea on 
June 25, but Admiral King and his navy advisors insisted 
that MacArthur might lose the carriers operating in range of 
the land-based bombers and naval flying-boats at Rabaul and at 
other bases in the Solomons. MacArthur explained that he 
had no idea of rushing blindly in to attack Rabaul; that he 
would feel his way, and secure enough bases on the Guinea 
coast and near enough to Rabaul to assure him ultimate air 

But Admiral King still refused, arguing that an attack might 
be mounted about August i but that the first objective should 
be the inferior Japanese positions in the Solomons below Ra 
baul and the Santa Cruz Islands. Rabaul, the ultimate objective 


of the Allied counterattack, must come later. Not only must 
the operations be under the South Pacific naval commander, 
but MacArthur must contribute his surface ships and subma 
rines and his long-range land-based bombers. 

Once the Navy had completed the Tulagi operation, King in 
sisted, then MacArthur could continue with the island-hopping 
operation on up the Solomon chain to Rabaul. Since the initial 
phase, called Task One, would cover Guadalcanal, part of 
which lay in the Southwest Pacific theatre, MacArthur s east 
ern demarcation line must be conveniently moved west from 
160 East to 159. 

Task Two included capturing the Japanese bases in the re 
mainder of the Solomons, and at Lae and Salamaua on the 
northeast coast of New Guinea. Task Three indicated the seiz 
ure and occupation of Rabaul and the other enemy positions in 
the New Britain-New Ireland area. These would come under 
MacArthur, but naval task commanders would always be in 
command of all amphibious landings. It was a Presidential 

By July 2 Marshall gave way to King s demands, and any 
chance of a unified command in the South and Southwest Pa 
cific areas was lost. Five days after the Marshall- King decision 
it was discovered that the Japanese had moved on from Tulagi 
and were starting an air strip on Guadalcanal Island. Naval 
planners felt the emergency of the new situation, and Vice Ad 
miral Robert L. Ghormley, in command of the South Pacific 
theatre, was immediately ordered to fly to Melbourne from 
New Zealand and confer with General MacArthur. 

The two commanders saw eye-to-eye as they studied the vast 
unfolding picture of the two-pronged Japanese drive southeast 
ward and southwestward from Rabaul, down the Solomons and 
the New Guinea coast. To turn it back there must be a single 
strategic plan, utilizing in perfect harmony all the resources 
of the two far-Pacific areas, the two services and their air 

Since the time and chance to move swiftly against Rabaul 
had now gone, the three tasks must be synchronized, and the 
whole vast operation must move ahead as one. Consequently 
MacArthur and Ghormley recommended that the Tulagi- 

Guadalcanal action be delayed until more ships, planes and 
troops were available, and until MacArthur was able to or 
ganize sufficient forces to present an offensive power. 

The Joint Chiefs of Staff promptly rejected the suggestion, 
and Ghormley was directed to attack Guadalcanal on Aug 
ust 7, one week after the original date set. The ist Marines 
landed unopposed. But enemy forces were soon brought in by 
sea from the north, and a desperate battle for the unfinished 
airfield began. On the night of August 10 three U. S. cruisers 
and an Australian cruiser were sunk off Savo island, in the 
first of a series of deadly sea encounters, in which the Allies 
were by no means always successful. 

Vice Admiral Ghormley was relieved of command of the 
South Pacific area on October 18 and was replaced by Admiral 
William F. Halsey. But it was February 9, 1943, before the 
Guadalcanal campaign officially ended. It had taken six months 
and two days to do the job that had at first seemed such an 
easy chore. 

From the earliest days of his arrival in Australia the menace of 
the Japanese-held base of Rabaul was as clear to MacArthur as 
was the need to hold fast to the Port Moresby base in lower 
New Guinea. Some 200 miles southeast of Moresby, at the 
very tip of New Guinea s tail, lay Milne Bay, which was almost 
as valuable a key spot for Allied defense and offense as 
Moresby itself. 

As his first move in putting into effect his decision to make 
the fight for Australia in New Guinea, MacArthur dispatched 
to Port Moresby two of the ablest members of his staff, Brig 
adier Generals "Hal" George who was soon to meet a tragic 
death on the airfield at Port Darwin and "Pat" Casey, 
his chief engineer officer. They reported that conditions in 
Moresby were deplorable from every possible military angle. 

MacArthur immediately ordered the construction of airfields 
and a base in this strategic stronghold at Milne Bay that could 
handle his bombers, fighters and transport aircraft. Casey col 
lected such bulldozers, scrapers and road-making machinery as 


he could get together and hurried north with the colored g6th 
U. S. Engineer Battalion. Along with him went a tall, lean, 
Norwegian-born Missouri engineer, Colonel Jack Sverdrup, 
who had a way with native workers that was shortly to pay off 
in big dividends. 

Stretching down the lower centre of the great island of 
New Guinea, lay, like the dorsal vertebrae of some prehistoric 
monster, the high mountains of the Owen Stanley range, their 
peaks often hidden for days at a time by low-hanging clouds. 
Rain forests covered their sides, and eternal danger hung over 
the green, treacherous jungle of their eastern slopes that 
Stretched on to the shore lines of the Solomon Sea. 

From the western foothills of the range, some 30 miles in 
land from Port Moresby, a trail or trace zig-zagged for 70 
miles eastward over the high Kokoda Pass and on down the 
long slopes to the swampy tropical country. It led to the coco 
nut plantations and missionary establishments, built around 
the clusters of huts called Gona and Buna on the eastern coast. 

On July 22 an intelligence report of a most alarming na 
ture came from Brigadier General Willoughby s G-2 office. 
The Japanese had suddenly landed large forces at both Gona 
and Buna on this eastern Guinea coast, almost directly across 
the mountains from Moresby. A day or two later even more 
disturbing news filtered in; a considerable enemy force, us 
ing several hundred natives from New Britain as food and am 
munition bearers, was advancing along the jungle trail that led 
up the long mountain slopes toward Kokoda Pass, and then 
across the hump of the range down to key Port Moresby on the 

A small Australian force had shortly before this landed by 
barges at Gona, and although outnumbered 10 to i, it was at 
tempting to block the advancing Japanese column. The Aussies 
^could do little more than give way. Shortly other militia men 
from the misty heights of the pass joined in the bitter resist 
ance, but it was a losing fight from the start. 

MacArthur reviewed the situation. Even if the tireless en 
emy soldiers won the Kokoda Pass and started down the west 
ern slopes of th<e Owen Stanley range toward Port Moresby, it 


JAPANESE C * * >t * ,* 4 


How the Jap$ tried to double-envelope Port Moresby in New Guinea. 

did not seem humanly possible that they would have enough 
strength left to exploit their incredible march. There was 
nothing to be immediately alarmed over, although it did sig 
nify the determination of the enemy to capture Moresby. 

The day that the Japanese started toward Kokoda Pass, Ma 
jor General George C. Kenney arrived in Brisbane, where Al 
lied headquarters had recently been established, MacArthur 


had asked for him to relieve Major General George H. Brett, 
and when the stubby, dynamic air commander with the crew 
haircut and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment re 
ported the following morning, it didn t take MacArthur long 
to give him his orders. He was to re-vamp and re-inspire the 
5th Air Force. Things looked alarming at Port Moresby. It 
was Kenney s first job to decide what was needed to build up 
air power there in the quickest possible time. He left at dawn 
the next morning. It was the way Kenney did things. In the 
long list of brilliant air commanders he had a unique reputa 
tion. In 1934 when the G.H.Q. Air Force had been established 
by MacArthur as an integral part of the Four-Army Plan, Ken 
ney had been made G-$ in the air setup. And now, eight years 
later, MacArthur sent for him to help in the great task that lay 

It was evident now that the incredible Japanese advance 
over the Kokoda Pass toward Port Moresby was no wild raid. 
Five jungle-trained Japanese battalions were leap-frogging one 
another, taking terrible losses as they first won the high pass 
and then started down the western slopes toward the prize 
harbor. Exactly 31 days after they had landed on the Buna- 
Gona shoreline they fought their way into Kokoda Pass vil 
lage, 55 miles from their starting point. Below them lay the 
slopes of the Owen Stanleys. They pushed on without a mo 
ment s rest. 

Fully aware of the possibility of some other daring and co 
ordinated Japanese move, MacArthur saw to it that the Aus 
tralian General Thomas A. Blarney, Allied Ground Com 
mander, placed two brigades of Australian militiamen and 
regulars at Milne Bay southeast from Moresby. A company or 
two of U. S. engineers were hurriedly trying to finish three 
air strips, of which only one was serviceable. 

Early in the morning of August 26, before dawn broke, 
heavy Japanese forces landed at Milne Bay, and for twelve days 
a desperate jungle battle followed. When the fighting ended 
with the total annihilation of these forces (whose mission had 
been to gain a foothold here at Milne Bay and then move by 
barge up the Guinea coast to Moresby), their brothers on the 
Kokoda Pass, almost 200 miles to the north, had reached a 

defended ridge a scant 35 miles from their prize. The incredible 
plan had been for the two attacking forces, one from the 
east and the other from the south, to form a giant pincer that 
would crush the key Port Moresby between them. The enemy 
group that landed at Milne Bay had now been completely de 
stroyed, and the other on the Pass was turned back when 
only 22 miles from its goal, after it had performed deeds of 
valor and endurance that were magnificent. 

And now these plagued and defeated Japanese must fight 
their way back up the deadly trail to Kokoda Pass, and then on 
down the dangerous eastern slopes to their future burial grounds 
at Buna, Gona and Sanananda. Xenephon s Ten Thousand 
might have had a worthier cause, but they have no greater claim 
to the harsh immortality of arms than does this band of two or 
three thousand ragged, stubborn, hard little men, writing their 
own deathless Odyssey on the Kokoda Pass. 

Save for American airmen and the contribution of the U. S. 
engineers at Milne Bay, the fighting so far in Guinea had been 
done by the Australians. But soon the gsnd and 4ist U. S. 
Divisions, now finishing their final jungle training north of 
Brisbane in the Rockhampton area, would be fighting along 
side the Aussies. At last MacArthur had sufficient manpower 
to attempt the annihilation of the Japanese strongholds at 
Buna and Gona on the upper coast of southern New Guinea. 

But he had little in the way of a balanced offensive force. 
His Seventh Fleet was a fleet in name only. It had no shore 
bombardment warships, supply ships or special landing craft. 
It had no transports or sea-lift, save of a token and shadowy 

But MacArthur did have George Kenney. And faced with 
the task of taking out Buna and Gona, with their 11,000 Japa 
nese troops, protected by the sea on one side and by almost 
impenetrable swamps on the other, he found that his appar 
ently unsolvable problem of logistics was so much grist to 
the mind and imagination of this extraordinary airman. 

Already the Aussies had rolled the stubborn Japanese back 


down the eastern end of the Kokoda Pass and across the 
flooded rivers and the swampy plains to the coast. Kenney 
quickly flew most of the U. S. 3^nd Division the 1,000 miles 
from Rockhampton to Port Moresby. While this was going 
on Colonel Jack Sverdrap started up the Kapa Kapa trail, be 
low the Kokoda Pass, with a force of 297 "Fuzzie Wuzzies," 
armed with shovels, axes, picks and macKetes. The 2nd Bat 
talion of the U. S. 12 6th Infantry slogged on ahead of him. 
Sverdrup was travelling light. In sixteen days he followed 
the trail on foot over the lower Owen Stanleys he hacked four 
temporary air strips out of the tall native grass. The following 
day Kenney s transports brought in 1,000 Aussies. 

Sverdrup moved his grass cutters on to a spot called Dobo- 
dura, which was ten miles from the Japanese fortress of 
Buna. Quietly they cut out parallel strips in the tall grass cor 
ridors. And now out of the murky Guinea skies the big 
transport ships could slide in and unload men and food and 
supplies. In a single day Kenney s fliers brought in an entire 
army field hospital, operating tables and all. On their return 
trip the transports were filled with sick and wounded men. The 
vicious tropical diseases were knocking out four or five soldiers 
for every one an enemy bullet cut down. 

In many ways it was a one-sided fight that the Aussies and 
the Americans were forced to make in this terrible Papuan 
jungle along the east coast. Lack of sea power denied Mac- 
Arthur the warships that might have shelled the rear of the 
strong points and thick bunkers and the tough defensive posi 
tions the Japanese had built. For all of MacArthur s hatred of 
frontal attacks, he had no alternative for his Aussies and Yanks, 
already weakened by malaria and poor food and sleepless 
days and nights. Every advance had to be made through 
swamps and deadly jungle straight in the face of an enemy 
hidden in thick-walled, low-roofed and expertly camouflaged 
bunkers that seemed impervious to bombs and cannon fire. 

As a matter of fact things were going far from well with 
the units of the 3 2nd American Division now stalled in front 
of Buna. One day in late November MacArthur ordered Lt. 
General Robert L. Eichelberger, I Corps Commander at 
Rockhampton, to fly at once to advance G.H.Q. at Port 

MucArthur prepares to take the offensive in New Guinea. 

Moresby. Eichelberger and his chief of staff, Brigadier Genera^ 
Clovis Byers, reported in at the wide corridor of Government 
House. MacArthur s information from Dobodura had him 
deeply worried. 

He told Eichelberger that he was putting him in command 
at Buna. His first job would be to relieve the commander of 
the gsnd Division, and he was to go right on down the 
line and replace every unsatisfactory officer. He was to put 
sergeants in charge of battalions if he found it necessary. 

MacArthur made no attempt to disguise his deep concern. 
Suddenly he stopped in front of Eichelberger and his voice 
took on an almost terrifying tone. 

"Bob, get me Buna or don t come back alive!" It was a 
definite order. 

A moment later the harsh mood was displaced by one of 
quiet despair as he spoke of the long series of disappointments 
and failures that had followed him. "Why must I always 
lead a forlorn hope?" he almost pleaded. 

Eichelberger flew to Dobodura early that next morning. 
Few soldiers ever faced a more desperate task than was his. First, 
he must relieve his own West Point classmate and use his 
pruning knife as far down as battalion commanders. Then he 
had to rebuild morale and spirit by showing himself in every 
wavering front-line post and on every dangerous trail. In less 
than a week he had turned a discouraged, emotionally upset 
and exhausted division into a fighting outfit. 

To the north of the American sector across a roadless swamp 
were the tough 7th Australian Imperial Forces, with pans 
of the U. S. i26th Infantry, later relieved by the iGgrd Regi 
ment of the U. S. 4ist Division. The nature of the fighting be 
came clear with the relief of the 2nd Battalion of this 12 6th 
Infantry. Of 1,100 men who had foot-slogged their way to the 
Aussie sector, exactly 95 gaunt and utterly exhausted dough 
boys were able to walk out to awaiting planes that flew them 
back to the rest areas at Rockhampton. 

Eichelberger took Buna village on December 14. Five days 
before this the Aussies overran Gona, but they still faced days 
of hard fighting. 

In the nine and a half months since he arrived in Australia 

MacArthur had checked the Japanese drive southward, saved 
Port Moresby and Milne Bay and destroyed the enemy s for^ 
ward bases at Buna and Gona. Short-handed though he was, 
he could finally take the offensive. He was sure now that noth 
ing could stop him from ultimately fulfilling the vow, "I 
shall return," that he had made on the grim rock of Corregi- 

[Three years after this, MacArthur s then military secretary, 
Brigadier General Bonner Fellers, unearthed in Tokyo a curi 
ous bit of information; when the word of the capture of Buna 
was brought to the Emperor at his palace in Tokyo, he sol 
emnly shook his head. He sensed the skill of MacArthur and 
the power that lay behind the Allied effort. Deep in his heart 
he knew that Japan was doomed. He, as well as the American 
commander far to the south, understood the deadly nature of 
the advancing bomber line.] 

MacArthur was glad that the terrible year of 1942 was ended. 
The bitter memories of Bataan and Corregidor still haunted 
him. And the road ahead was long and rugged. 

He continued to be at the bottom of the global priority list, 
and he could expect little help from Washington. His own 
political friends back home had probably harmed him more 
than they had helped him. The constant intrusion of his name 
as a possible Presidential candidate in 1944 infuriated the 
New Deal politicians, and the resentment of the White House 
was reflected down through the War and Navy departments. 

Early in October MacArthur felt compelled to repudiate 
publicly any but purely military interests. His statement read: 

I have no political ambitions whatsoever. Any suggestion to 
the contrary may be regarded as merely amiable gestures of good 
will dictated by friendship. I started as a soldier and I shall 
finish as one. The only hope and ambition I have in the world 
is for victory for our cause in the war. If I survive the campaign, 
I shall return to that retirement from which this great struggle 
called me. 

He could only trust that 1943 would prove less harsh for 
him both on the Japanese war front and the Washington polit 
ical battlefront. 


[To the question of how the system of by-passing or leap 
frogging was subsequently developed in the Pacific, Mac 
Arthur answered in late 19521: 

The system is as old as war itself. It is merely a new name, 
dictated by new conditions, given to the ancient principle of 
envelopment. It was the first time that the area of combat em 
braced land and water in such relative proportions. Heretofore, 
either the one or the other was predominant in the campaign. 
But in this area the presence of great land masses separated by 
large sea expanses with the medium of transportation of ground 
troops by ships as well as land transport seemed to conceal the 
fact that the system was merely that of envelopment applied to 
a new type of battle area. It has always proved the ideal method 
for success by inferior in number but faster moving forces. Im 
mediately upon my arrival in Australia and learning the resources 
at my command, I determined that such a plan of action offered 
the sole chance for aggressive action. For its application it de 
manded a secure base from which to anchor all operations. 
Australia was plainly the only possible base but the enemy still 
held the initiative and was advancing. The plan of the Aus 
tralian Chiefs of Staff was to give up New Guinea and northern 
Australia and defend on the so-cailed Brisbane Line. Such a 
concept was fatal to every possibility of ever assuming the of 
fensive and even if tactically successful would have bottled us 
up on the Australian Continent probably permanently. I de 
termined to completely abandon the plan and to stop the enemy 
advances along the Owen Stanley Range in New Guinea. It was 
one of the most decisive as well as one of the most radical and 
difficult decisions of the war. Its success came through the Buna- 
Gona-Milne Bay-Coral Sea battles. From this point on I never 
doubted our full success. The first actual physical by-pass was 
probably when I had Halsey s forces, which had been placed 
under my operational control, by-pass the lines of Guadalcanal 
along the west coast of Bougainville.] 



The American ground forces under MacArthur s command at 
the beginning of 1943 consisted of two National Guard infan 
try divisions, a few thousand special troops and the ist Ma 
rine Division, which was at Melbourne recuperating from 
the costly Guadalcanal battle; at best MacArthur could con 
sider its use in his theatre as only of a shifting and temporary 

Official War Department figures eventually released, showed 
the paucity of MacArthur s ground and air command in com 
parison with the Army as a whole. On January i, 1943, the total 
strength of the U. S. Army, including the Air Corps, was 

MacArthur s total of 106,663 wa s 3>3 16 less than the army 
and air personnel in Admiral Halsey s South Pacific theatre, 
and 24494 les s than Nimitz had in the Central Pacific, which 
included posts in Hawaii and the Canton and Christmas Is 
lands. The three Australian Imperial divisions and the Aussie 
militia and air force are not included in the figures of the South 
west theatre. Likewise Marine strength is not counted in with 
the Army strength in the South and Central Pacific. Roughly 
speaking, one balanced the other. 

So MacArthur, at the turn of 1943, had slightly less than 
2% of the total U. S. Army and air force. His allocation of 
106,663 g ave him almost exactly 10% of the 1,057,454 Army 
and air force personnel then stationed outside of the Con 
tinental limits of the United States. His share of the total 
U. S. naval forces, in both men and ships, was even smaller 
than his percentage of Army troops. 

Fortunately the global war situation, save here in the distant 
Pacific and Southeastern Asia, had started to turn definitely 


in favor of the Allies. General Montgomery s ponderous su 
periority in men, tanks and air at El Alamein had enabled him 
to rout Rommel and drive his famous Afrika Corps across the 
deserts of North Africa. Lt. General Eisenhower had landed in 
French North Africa on November 8, 1942. His units were 
pushing eastward to face the remnants of Rommel s armor at 
Kasserine Pass and a final victory in Bizerte and Tunis on the 
coming i gth of May. 

Russia was still deep in her second winter of war, and Hit 
ler s forces were breaking their back against Stalingrad. Russia 
was now receiving 30% of the total lend-lease, and spring would 
see her start back on the long trail that would eventually lead 
to Berlin and the annihilation of the Eastern German armies. 

In the air the British and Americans had shifted the com 
parative air strength over Europe from a 2 to 3 ratio in favor 
of Germany, to a 3 to 2 ratio in favor of the Allies. Germany 
had received her death wounds on the bloody fields of Russia 
and in the skies over her own homeland, 

But the picture was very different with regard to Japan. In 
the vast periphery of her conquests, only at Midway and in the 
Coral Sea, at two tiny spots on New Guinea and in the lower 
Solomons and on the western borders of Burma had she been 
seriously challenged. She had been allowed the time to consoli 
date her gains and her priceless war loot. 

General George C. Marshall, dominant figure of the U, S. 
Joint Chiefs of Staff, diligently seeking ways to expand Amer 
ica s might in the European theatre, was determined to carry 
out the Roosevelt-Hopkins pledge to Stalin for a second front. 
In the late summer of 1942 he had pushed plans for an Allied in 
vasion across the English channel and had almost broken with 
Churchill because the British leader insisted that it would be 
folly to attempt any such movement at this time. But Marshall 
now returned to his determination to launch a great second 
front in France by early summer of 1943. 

Such was the global picture when on February 6, 1943, 
Roosevelt and Churchill with their senior military chiefs and 
civilian advisors met at Casablanca in North Africa. Four days 
before the conference opened the Russians announced the liq 
uidation of the German Army before Stalingrad. Complete vie- 


tory over Germany now appeared so certain that it seemed but 
a small task to decide in advance th e broad terms of surrender. 
At a press conference the President launched the proposition 
of unconditional surrender. It was to prove the most costly 
phrase in the entire course of the war. 

Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., was al 
ready evolving the plan to turn Germany, once it was broken, 
into a pastoral state by destroying her heavy industries and 
prohibiting their reestablishment. Roosevelt s idea of un 
conditional surrender fitted perfectly into the pattern of hate 
and revenge then prevalent among a large group of Americans. 
A brilliant young brigadier general, Albert C. Wedemeyer, 
head of the War Plans section of the General Staff, accompanied 
General Marshall to the conference and tried to warn his im 
mediate superior of the eventual danger and disaster that lay 
in the Morgenthau and Roosevelt theories of utterly crushing 

Events of great secrecy and questionable design were already 
under way in Washington. It was some time later before the 
almost unbelievable sequence of the hidden plans and devious 
actions finally came to light; even a full ten years after the 
events occurred there were still great breaks in the continuing 
story of Communist intrigue and conspiracy that had been de 
veloped and were functioning at high levels in Washington. 

As early as 1934 a small but expertly organized Red cell, 
called the Silvermaster Spy Ring, was planted deep into one of 
the most sensitive posts of the Treasury Department, with 
Harry Dexter White, chief assistant to Mr. Morgenthau, as an 
important member. Shortly after this other cells were formed 
with members settled in key spots in the White House, in 
offices in the State Department, and in other top posts. This 
was the beginning of a sordid conspiracy against the interests 
of America and in favor of Communist Russia which did ir 
remediable harm to America, the effects of which are still felt. 

At this period centering in 1943 the principal and immedi 
ate result was the plan written by Harry Dexter White and 
backed by Morgenthau for the pastoralization of Germany. 
Without the knowledge or approval of either Secretary of 
State Hull or Secretary of War Stimson, Roosevelt presented 


It as a fully accredited doctrine at the later Quebec Confer 
ence, where it was duly accepted by Churchill. 

In Washington the American Communists, who had kept 
well under cover during the 22 months of the Hitler-Stalin 
peace, were no longer official outcasts. Agents direct from the 
Kremlin plotted the work to be done by their American 
agents, and it was not long before spies planted in the very 
heart of the government were stealing such priceless posses 
sions as the atomic bomb secrets and the designs for proximity 
fuses. Other Red spies soon began to influence highly im 
portant policy-making decisions in the State Department. Al- 
ger Hiss was eventually to become the best known of these 

Aliens in America and certain religio-political zealots whose 
principal concern was to make sure of crushing Hitler and 
to take revenge on the whole German nation found it easy 
and natural to espouse the same general line as that put out by 
the secret Communist plotters and their dupes, fellow travel 
ers and sentimental followers. These two large groups, along 
with the millions of pro-British interventionists and interna 
tionalists, under the active leadership of the administration 
completely dominated all channels of American propaganda. 
No microphone or typewriter could long stand against these 
men and groups, who seemed often to-be far more concerned 
with revenge and with saving the Soviet and British empires 
than with the ultimate fate of America. From the very start of 
the war they had largely been against giving adequate support 
for MacArthur and his area 6,000 miles from San Francisco. 

MacArthur, fighting his far-away war in the Southwest Pa 
cific, had no part in the great decisions, and his advice was not 
asked. Roosevelt and Churchill, and now Stalin, agreed that 
the war against Japan must be kept in its distinctly secondary 
place. Stalin had readily concurred as long as it was certain that 
Japan was sufficiently engaged to prevent her attacking Siberia 
and forcing Russia into a two-front war. 

A new element now brought into the slightly confused pic 
ture was the whispered suggestion that Stalin might withdraw 
from the global war and make peace with Germany unless the 
United States and Britain hurriedly established a second front 

against Germany. The threat, completely unrealistic though it 
was, apparently continued to carry great weight, particularly 
in the minds of the President, Harry Hopkins and General 
Marshall; but somehow it was held less important by Winston 

The war against Japan must drag along. Germany must first 
be driven to her knees and accept unconditional surrender, be 
fore the men fighting in the air and jungles and on the danger 
ous seas in the distant Pacific would get help. 

As early as 1943 the Asiatic dreamers in the Kremlin 
visioned the possibility that great elements of the Japanese 
Army, particularly in Manchuria and Korea, might eventually 
be won to Communism. If at the end of the war Russia could 
have an important hand in the making of the Pacific peace, not 
only China but Japan might be drawn into the Red orbit and 
thus become partners in the Communist conquest of the world. 

MacArthur s immediate problem in New Guinea was to push 
the forward fighter strips further and further ahead in the rug 
ged country back from the coastal regions and thus furnish air 
cover for his advancing long-range bomber line. He never 
lost sight of the fact that his principal target was Rabaul, so 
that he could break out through the Vitiaz Strait into the 
Bismarck Sea and start on the long trip back to the Philippines. 

He still had little or no fleet or even adequate sea-lift for 
troops and supplies, but he did have Kenney and the~American 
and Australian air forces. The bitter campaign against Buna 
and Gona proved what the transport plane could do as a pack- 
horse and sea carrier. By gaining air supremacy MacArthur 
could control the sky and make the ground and waters below 
it safe from enemy air and sea attacks. 

The reduction of the minor Japanese shore base at Sala- 
maua, and the far more important concentration some twenty 
miles on to the north at Lae, came first on his schedule. To 
ward the end of February 1943, Brigadier General Charles A. 
Willoughby s intelligence discovered that a large convoy was 


being prepared to transport the equivalent of a Japanese army 
division from Rabaul to the New Guinea port of Lae. 

MacArthur called in Kenney, who took off for New Guinea 
to work out the job with his deputy, Brigadier General Ennis 
Whitehead. Playing the influence of the weather and a lot of 
hunches, they decided to gamble on the Japanese convoy com 
ing through the Vitiaz Strait at 10:15 on the morning of 
March 3. That would put the ships in range of the whole 137 
aircraft that Kenney had in New Guinea at that time. The 
gamble paid off. At 10:15 A.M. the Yank and Aussie aviators 
opened the almost fabulous engagement known as the Battle 
of the Bismarck Sea. 

When it was over, six Japanese destroyers and from eleven 
to fourteen merchant vessels lay at the bottom of the strait, 
somewhere around 10,000 Japanese personnel were destroyed, 
and at least 60 aircraft were shot down. The Allied losses 
were 13 men killed and 12 injured, with 4 airplanes shot 
down and 2 crash-landed at their home bases. 

Kenney took off immediately for Washington in company 
with Major General Sutherland, MacArthur s chief of staff; 
the Southwest Pacific s G-g, Brigadier General Stephen J. 
Chamberlain, and Captain H. J. Roy, the naval representative. 
Jt was a combined begging and selling mission. 

In Washington animosity against MacArthur was reaching the 
boiling point by the time Sutherland and Kenney started back 
for Australia and New Guinea. There were definite rumors that 
Roosevelt was about to relieve him of his Southwest Pacific 
command. But it was certain that MacArthur would demand 
an Army court of inquiry, and his friends would insist on a 
Congressional hearing. It might be best to let his deputies 
get back to their stations before taking any drastic steps. 

Then a strange public-relations consideration entered the 
picture. From Switzerland on March 12, came confidential 
news that the two American crews who had been shot down in 
the Doolittle raid over Tokyo in April 1943 had been bru 
tally executed. For ten days the report had been held back in 
the fear that the public reaction might call for immediate and 
increased action against Japan. Certainly it was not the appro 
priate time to relieve MacArthur. 

Dividing his time between Brisbane and Port Moresby, Mac- 
Arthur laid out his plans to pinch off Lae, Salamaua and then 
Finchhafen with the least possible loss of American and Aus 
tralian lives. As the hot tropical days and weeks slipped by, 
MacArthur was ceaseless in his demands upon Kenney and 
Whitehead now aided by an imaginative and experienced air 
operator, Colonel Merian C. Cooper to continue blasting Ra- 
baul and a great new enemy base on up the Guinea coast at 
Wewak. Nothing could induce MacArthur to move until he 
had complete mastery of the air. With that assured, he could 
use his advance landing fields exactly as more conventional 
commanders used their expensive coastal beachheads and sea 
bases to move ahead. 

It was already August 1943 when Rear Admiral Daniel E. 
Barbey, now assigned to the Southwest Pacific theatre, for the 
first time was able to assemble sufficient landing craft and sea- 
lift and secure enough equipment for the newly organized 
army amphibian force to undertake and sustain a fair-sized 
coastal operation. Early on September 4 Barbey landed General 
Ralph M. Wooten s AIF gth Division the splendid Rats of 
Tobruk at Hopoi Bay, east of Lae. 

At 9:00 the next morning 305 Allied planes rose from nine 
fields in lower Guinea and took their place in a formation that 
was as perfect as a sky parade on Air Force Day in peace time. 
It headed for a spot called Nadzab in the high and almost inac 
cessible Markham Valley, a scant 20 miles northwest of 
enemy-held Lae. In front rode five squadrons of deadly 6-255. 
They came sixteen abreast like spanking circus horses. Each 
carried eight .5o-caliber guns in its nose, and they cut the tall 
grass as clean as Sverdrup s natives could have done. Behind 
them sailed a dozen A-2OS that laid in even ribbons the three 
lanes of smoke. In the open columns between the smoke lanes 
came 96 C-47 transport planes, spaced in three rows of 32 
planes each. At their head rode a 6-17 Flying Fortress, with 
Douglas MacArthur as its star passenger. Before noon, the en 
tire U. S. 503rd Parachute Regiment had hit the silk, along 
with a full battery of Aussie 25-pounders. 


It was America s first effort at a large scale air-drop and it 
was perfectly executed. Lae and Salamaua were now sur 
rounded and helpless triple-enveloped, as a matter of fact. 

Within 18 days both enemy strongholds on New Guinea had 
fallen, along with Finchhafen and here at hand lay the waters 
of the key Vitiaz Strait. To clean out the scattered Japanese 
bases still remaining on New Britain Island on the east side of 
the narrow strait, would be practice work for the small but 
well-oiled MacArthur machine. 

Gloucester, at the west tip of New Britain, fell to the ist 
Marine Division on December 26. The Vitiaz Strait was now 
clear. Ahead lay the remainder of the great land bridge of 
Dutch New Guinea. Admiral Barbey had landed these marines 
in a highly skillful blind night maneuver through dangerous 
coral reefs with MacArthur s shoestring Navy. 

Back in July of 1943 the decision was made in Washington 
that Admiral Halsey would have tactical charge of the actual 
operations in the drive on northwestward up the Solomon 
chain of islands, and MacArthur would have the strategic com 

From their first meeting Halsey and MacArthur formed a 
strong personal liking for each other. More than once the sol 
dier declared that the fighting spirit of Nelson had descended 
on the pugnacious old sea bull. In return Halsey recognized 
the uncanny talents that MacArthur exercised in his twin for 
mulae: "All there is to know is when and where to fight" and 
"Always hit em where they ain t." 

The entire vast Solomon-Bismarck seas area was in the na 
ture of a double horseshoe, with the two backs of their "U s" 
resting on New Britain Island one horseshoe pointing south 
and enclosing the Solomon Sea; the other pointing north, en 
compassing the Bismarck Sea. In other terms, each arm might 
be described as one arm of a gigantic bear hug. 

Briefly stated, the MacArthur-Halsey plan was for Halsey to 
advance up the east side while MacArthur moved up the west 
arm of the lower horseshoe, with the 6oo-mile wide Solomon 



Sea between. From the start Admiral King had seen to it that 
Halsey s people lacked little in their prolonged struggle to 
hold Guadalcanal and finally to drive out the Japanese rein 
forcements. Before the desperate six months of fighting ended, 
the Navy had fed in two Marine divisions and two Army di 
visions of the XXIV Corps. A fresh Army division and the grd 
Marine Division landed after organized resistance on Guadal 
canal ended on February 9, 1943. 

The long climb up the eastern Solomon ladder was a heart 
breaking task for the South Pacific command, consuming most 
of 1943. By November Halsey had fought his way northward to 
Princess Augusta Bay in the center of the western shoreline of 
the great island of Bougainville. Overwhelming air, sea and 
ground forces had been brought together for the landings. In 
the assaulting armada were bombardment squadrons of war 
ships, rocket ships, fiat-tops, the latest troop and tank-landing 
ships and such equipment as MacArthur s men, grimly bat 
tling far to the westward on Guinea, had never dreamed of 

On the second day of Bougainville, Kenney s 5th Air Force 
let loose all it had against Rabaul, and in exactly twelve min 
utes the New Guinea sky-raiders took out airdromes and sup 
ply dumps, sank destroyers and merchant ships and destroyed 
100 enemy planes on the ground in Rabaul harbor. The great 
menace of Rabaul was a thing of the past. The capture of 
Augusta Bay to the south, with MacArthur s air force in New 
Guinea to the west, now exposed Rabaul to attack from either 
one or both Allied bases. Rabaul s back was broken. 

Everything to the south was irretrievably lost to the enemy. 
More than 50,000 Japanese troops still in the Solomons to the 
southward would now find themselves trapped, their rice 
and bullet lines cut, and themselves abandoned. 

MacArthur had only to finish his mopping up of the tiny 
Jap bases on the east shore of the Vitiaz Strait, and he could 
call it a year. The sea and air roads northward were now open 
to him. He was at last on his way home to Manila. 

[To the question of how seriously the lack of carriers 
affected his operations in the SWPA, MacArthur, years after 
the events, bluntly answered: 

Most seriously. The very essense of our so-called "by-passing" 
method of advance depended upon securing air control over the 
area covered in each forward step. In the present state of devel 
opment of the art of war no movement can safely be made of 
forces on sea or land without adequate air protection. The limit 
of such protection in our case was the possible radius of opera 
tion of our fighter planes. This radius had to be measured from 
the actual location of our ground air bases. This required the 
seizing or construction of such new bases at each forward move 
ment. The presence of carriers with their inherent movability 
would have immeasurably increased the scope and speed of our 
operations. I know of no other area and no other theatre where 
they could have been used to such advantage. The enemy s di 
version of his air forces on many different islands and fields was 
peculiarly adapted to his piecemeal destruction which would 
have been drastically assisted if we could have utilized the mo 
bility of carriers in surprise concentrations. For instance, with 
our overall inferior air strength, in order to neutralize the en 
emy s superior combined air strength at Rabaul and Aitape, 
being limited to ground air strength, I had to locate a temporary 
air base in New Guinea between these two enemy air garrisons 
to operate by surprise, with my entire force concentrated first 
on the one and then on the other. Then- combined force could 
have beaten me but divided I destroyed them unilaterally. The 
presence of carriers would have entirely altered our potential. 
Prime Minister Curtin did his best to persuade Prime Minister 
Churchill to let us have carriers, and I did the same with Wash 
ington but without success. To this day I cannot understand why 
the decision was in the negative.] 

General MacArthur s reaction at the time to this exact period 
)f the war is expressed in a letter he wrote on June 13 to 
in old Army friend who had been on his staff in Manila in 
1936 and 37. It read: 

I was so glad to receive your letter of April 30, and to know 
where and how you were. Little or no news reaches me and I 
have lost all touch with my old friends. Your estimate of the 
situation is substantially correct. It is too bad that so few of 


those who control would agree with you. It has been a desperate 
time for me since the war started, always the underdog, and 
always fighting with destruction just around the corner. I could 
have held Bataan if I had not been so completely deserted. I take 
some comfort from Stonewall Jackson s creed, "that if necessary, 
we will fight them with sticks and stone." But I find that sticks 
break in our hands and stones can t go very far. A merciful God 
has miraculously brought me through so far, but I am sick at 
heart at the mistakes and lost opportunities that are so prevalent. 

To MacArthur it was evident that this year the Washington 
front had been almost as difficult for him as the Japanese front. 
He had barely escaped the angry storm of reproof that 
blew up in the Capital as a result of his demands expressed 
jointly with Prime Minister John Curtin in March and April 
that more attention and help be given the Southwest Pacific 

His friends, however, had not for a moment let up on their 
bitter harangues against the White House and the Joint Chiefs 
of Staff for what they considered the unfair treatment of Mac- 
Arthur and his area. This fight had for the most part been in 
the hands of a little group of politicians and publishers and 
a few embattled columnists and radio commentators who 
might be called the anti-Roosevelt crowd. These kindred spir 
its were using every method they could find to support Mac- 
Arthur, to discredit the administration and its conduct of the 
war and to oppose the ambition of the President for a fourth 

In middle May of 1943 the pro-MacArthur faction gained a 
vociferous champion from the Democratic ranks. Senator A. B. 
(Happy) Chandler of Kentucky suddenly broke out on the 
Senate floor with the statement that the recent Allied successes 
in North Africa, in an area that had been considered British 
responsibilities, had so changed the whole global picture that 
more attention should now be given the Pacific, and it should 
be done before Japan could consolidate her gains. 

"I am one citizen of this country/ the Senator went on, 
"who believes sincerely that the Pacific cannot wait, and that 
if anything comes of the conference now being held by Mr. 
Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill a major decision should be made 

to give the Pacific war the consideration which facts justify it 
having in the general scheme of world affairs." 

The following day the President vigorously repudiated 
Chandler s suggestion. A day later Churchill, addressing a joint 
session of Congress, pledged that Britain would in the proper 
time wage the war against Japan "while there is breath in our 
bodies and while white blood flows through our veins." 

From August 17 to 24, 1943, Churchill and Roosevelt met 
in their first conference at Quebec. The Pacific was low on the 
agenda, and while the meeting was mainly in preparation for 
possible later conferences in which Stalin would be present, 
there were important decisions made regarding the Atlantic 
theatre. Eisenhower was to be in charge of the Mediterranean 
area. Marshall s ambitions to command the European theatre 
and the great cross-channel invasion was left for later decision. 

Within a month this command problem created a violent 
storm both in inner circles and in Congress. Those behind 
Marshall suddenly presented the idea that he be made global 
commander in chief, with the title of General of the Armies. 
Either Lt. General Somervell or Lt. General Eisenhower 
would then become Army Chief of Staff. Senator Chandler 
countered with the suggestion that there be a single Pacific 
and East Asia Command under General MacArthur. Even the 
name of Lord Louis Mountbatten was tossed into the contro 

The American and British press carried reports that Mac- 
Arthur s "part in the war is to be progressively curtailed and 
his command reduced to a secondary and subsidiary role." In 
a desperate attempt to neutralize the criticism against him 
and his strategic conceptions, MacArthur released on Septem 
ber 21 a carefully worded reply. He had just completed 
double envelopment of Salamaua and Lae with extremely 
small losses, and the following day he would capture 
Finchhafen. His statement read: 

It makes little difference whether I or others wield the weapons, 
just so the cause for which our beloved country fights is vic 
torious. However subordinate may be my role I hope to play it 

My strategic conception for the Pacific Theatre, which I out- 


lined after the Papuan Campaign and have since consistently 
advocated, contemplates massive strokes against only main stra 
tegic objectives, utilizing surprise and air-ground striking power, 
supported and assisted by the fleet. This is the very opposite of 
what is termed "island hopping" which is the gradual pushing 
back of the enemy by direct frontal pressure, with the consequent 
heavy casualties which will certainly be involved. Key points 
must of course be taken but a wise choice of such will obviate 
the need for storming the mass of islands now in enemy posses 
sion. "Island hopping" with extravagant losses and slow progress 
some press reports indicating victory postponed as late as 
1949 is not my idea of how to end the war as soon and as 
cheaply as possible. New conditions require solution, and new 
weapons require maximum application and imaginative methods. 
Wars are never won in the past. 

I have no personal military ambitions and am perfectly con 
tent in such role as may be prescribed for me. 

The remarks by no means lessened the bitter conflict. Propo 
nents of the strategy recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff 
to send large American air and ground forces to the Burma- 
Chinese area now smarted under new attacks by Senator 
Chandler. Chandler insisted that if and when the Burma Road 
was opened, it would be of little real consequence. 

Either by direct letter or by other means Chandler suc 
ceeded in securing a rough outline of MacArthur s strategic 
conception, and he openly laid it out on the Senate floor: Once 
the Solomon-Bismarck seas were cleared, he claimed that Mac- 
Arthur would move upon the great southern Philippine island 
of Mindanao, and from there probably advance to Luzon and 
eventually on to Formosa. From the Philippine bases American 
submarines and bombers could cut the Japanese life-line that 
led from her rich loot in Malaya and the Dutch East Indies to 
her home islands. Deprived of oil, rubber, tin, rice, quinine and 
other vital necessities, she would see her war potential ruined. 

Again Chandler and his Congressional friends insisted that 
MacArthur be put in supreme command of the entire Pacific. 
Roosevelt made no effort to hide his violent opposition, while 
the Army high command concentrated on trying to find out 
just how Chandler had obtained his secret information. 

It had now become everybody s fight in Washington, and 

the Navy did not miss the opportunity to get in its licks. Early 
in November Rear Admiral W. EL Young stated that "Amer 
ican supplies are reaching the Southwest Pacific in quantities 
sufficient for large scale operations against the Japanese." 

Once again MacArthur answered, and on November 13 re 
leased a formal statement; 

I am reluctant to discuss such a subject. The Southwest Pacific 
has something less than 5% of American military resources, and 
is now receiving something less than 10% of what America is 
shipping overseas. This is much more than formerly. The per 
cent of air resources is somewhat lower. Without complaint, the 
area is doing everything it can with what it has. 

On the strictly political side of the Washington controversy, 
the unauthorized campaign to project MacArthur s name into 
the coming Presidential campaign was beginning to assume 
greater importance. In the early summer of 1943 Governor 
Thomas E. Dewey of New York was the leading Republican 
candidate, but Wendell Willkie, who had made the unsuccess 
ful fight in 1940, was still being seriously considered. Mac- 
Arthur s name was now definitely injected into the contest. 

In Chicago plans for nation-wide MacArthur-for-President 
clubs were pushed, although it was admitted that the General 
had not been consulted regarding the action. On July 9 a local 
club formally opened its headquarters. 

A few days later Colonel Robert R. McCormick, editor of 
the Chicago Tribune^ said in an interview in New York City: 
"Roosevelt is in a hell of a position. If MacArthur wins a 
great victory, he will be President. If he doesn t win one, it 
will be because Roosevelt has not given him sufficient sup 

That same day Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg remarked at 
his home in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that "at present Mac- 
Arthur would be the best choice for the Republicans for next 

Obviously MacArthur was becoming involved in a situation 
that might well get beyond his control. On August 25 Rep 
resentative Hamilton Fish gave out a statement in Goshen, 


New York, that indicated how a number of professional politi 
cians were thinking: 

Republicans and anti-New Deal Democrats are united in op 
posing the 4th term for President Roosevelt and the power- 
hungry bureaucrats and left-wing New Dealers in Washington. 

I am in favor of drafting General MacArthur as the Repub 
lican candidate for President and Commander-in-Chief of our 
armed forces on a win-the-war platform and on a one-term plank, 
as opposed to a fourth term and military dictatorship. 

Two weeks later Senator Arthur Capper of Kansas injected 
a new note into the picture by the statement that he believed 
that either General Eisenhower or General MacArthur would 
be the Republican Presidential candidate in 1944. He con 

Either of them would make a fine President. The people of 
Kansas lean towards Eisenhower because he comes from Kansas, 
but they consider that MacArthur would make an excellent 
choice, too. 

On September 17 the Gallup poll announced the result of 
its question: "If the Presidential election were being held to 
day, and Roosevelt were running for President on the Demo 
cratic ticket and MacArthur on the Republican ticket, how 
do you think you would vote?" The nation-wide result was: 
Roosevelt 58%; MacArthur 42%. 

In the farm areas, particularly in the anti-internationalist 
Middle West, however, the result was almost the exact re 
verse: Roosevelt 44%; MacArthur 56%. 

Across the Atlantic and at the eastern end of the Mediterra 
nean and deep in the Middle East, events that would help 
shape the political world for possibly a hundred years or more 
were in the making. At Cairo from November 22 to the 26th, 
1943, Roosevelt and Churchill conferred with Chiang Kai-shek. 
China was definitely promised by Roosevelt that she was to 
have Formosa and Manchuria and all Japanese interests 
therein, once a Pacific victory was secured. 

Two days later the President and the British Prime Ministe: 
met at Tehran for a three-day conference with Dictator Stalin 
Already it was evident that Roosevelt was beginning to weaker 
in energy and mental coordination. His own certainty that he 
could win Stalin to the Roosevelt design for a peaceful world 
was quietly being fostered by the shrewd and calculating Red 

Eisenhower, who was present at the Casablanca conference 
and was a member of the American delegation at Cairo, did 
not go to Tehran. MacArthur had not been invited even to 
the Cairo conference, where important decisions involving 
China and the Pacific areas were decided. 

In addition to Eisenhower at Cairo, the President s top 
group of advisors, both at the conference on the Nile and at 
Tehran, included Harry Hopkins, Admirals Leahy and King, 
and General Marshall. Not one of them seemed willing or able 
to warn the President effectively that Stalin was swiftly becom 
ing the master of the situation. Marshall especially was an 
ardent spokesman for Russia to enter the Pacific war, appar 
ently without regard to the price the dictator might ask. Yet 
there could be little doubt that neither Germany nor Japan 
could possibly win against the war machines they were now 

General Marshall decided to return to Washington via the 
Indian Ocean and the Pacific. The news of the impending visit 
of the Army Chief of Staff reached MacArthur at his advance 
headquarters in Port Moresby as he was taking off for a con 
ference with Lt. General Krueger at his headquarters on 
Goodenough Island. Only the landings at Port Gloucester re 
mained unfinished in his long campaign to win both sides of 
the Solomon Sea and clear the way through the Vitiaz Strait 
for advanced bases in New Guinea on the road back to the 

He was of the opinion that as a result of both the present 
and the past differences between himself and Marshall, their 
meeting might be somewhat embarrassing to his distinguished 
visitor. MacArthur seriously considered conducting the 
Gloucester operations in person, thus relieving Marshall of his 


"No, I ll stay/ he finally remarked to one of his senior staff 
officers. "But I ll make the prophecy that he ll never see me 
alone. He ll always find a way to have someone else present." 

Kenney met General Marshall at Port Moresby and flew him 
to Goodenough Island, where the visitor had a long conference 
with General MacArthur and his senior commanders. At their 
meeting MacArthur and Marshall called each other by his given 
name and there was every evidence of friendly cordiality. At 
the pep talk and general survey made by Marshall it turned out 
that MacArthur was the complete listener. 

Marshall went on his way the next day. MacArthur was right; 
never for a moment had Marshall sought to be alone with him. 
Nor did he evince any desire to confide to MacArthur his ideas 
on the global struggle. It was about this time that MacArthur 
remarked to a friendly visiting officer, "No theatre commander 
has ever been kept in such abysmal ignorance by his govern 
ment as I have been." 


MacArthur had long been convinced that the least expensive 
and quickest way to win against Japan was to pool all the 
resources of the various Pacific areas under one supreme Pacific 
commander. This would make conclusively overwhelming con 
centrations of land, sea and air forces for the successive steps 
essential to the ultimate defeat of Japan. 

There were two possible approaches to the Japanese home 
islands, and the enemy had succeeded in setting up island 
roadblocks in each of these great sea-and-land avenues of at 
tack. In choosing either route for the main effort against Japan 
the first essential was to pool all resources in one command, 

The Navy under King preferred the approach that led al 
most straight across the central Pacific, in a ponderous move 
ment westward, building bases on the captured enemy islands 
as it drove ahead. 

MacArthur with insufficient sea forces to challenge even a 
small part of the Japanese fleet was fortunate in having the 
great buzzard-shaped island of New Guinea as a land-bridge 
that offered a road of nearly 1500 miles toward the Philip 
pines, his prize objective. Kenney s New Guinea-based planes, 
clearing out enemy air bases and concentrations ahead of the 
advancing ground forces, could cover the march as far as the 
extreme upper tip of New Guinea. But from there on the great 
Central Pacific fleet would have to be borrowed for strategic 
and tactical support. 

Once bases were secured in the Philippines, the sea lanes 
between Japan and Southeast Asia and Indonesia could be 
cut by submarines and bombers. The numerous enemy air 
and sea bases that lay to the east in the lower Central Pacific 
route would likewise be flanked and thus by-passed and left 
"to die on the vine." Most of the fighting, under this concep 
tion, would take place in MacArthur s Southwest Pacific area 
and consequently would largely be under his command. 

In an attempt to sell this idea to the South and Central 
Pacific naval, air and ground commanders, MacArthur sent 
Generals Sutherland, Chamberlain and Kenney and Vice Ad 
miral Thomas C. Kinkaid on an exploration trip. On January 
24, 1944, the group arrived in Hawaii and started their mis 
sionary work. Their first convert was army Lt. General Robert 
G. Richardson; next came Admiral Jack Towers, the oldest 
airman on Nimitz s staff and one of the most experienced and 
wisest flyers living. Admiral Forrest Sherman, the Central 
Pacific chief of operations, was apparently already convinced, 
and Admiral "Mick" Carney, Halsey s chief of staff, now 
agreed to the general strategy. Admiral Charles H. McMorris, 
Nimitz s chief of staff, argued that the enemy-held Marshall 
and Caroline Islands should first be captured before any final 
decision was reached. 

On the third day of the conference Admiral Sherman and 
General Sutherland took off for Washington in the hope of 


winning over the Joint Chiefs of Staff. General Kenney hur 
ried back to Brisbane with the good news that everything 
seemed propitious. MacArthur complimented his airman on 
the progress made, but reserved judgment as to the outcome. 

The Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington listened quietly 
while Sherman and Sutherland presented their arguments for 
a single unified axis. But Admiral King was too navy-minded, 
and apparently General Marshall and possibly General Arnold 
were averse to any strategic plan in which the Southwest 
theatre would become the primary area of Pacific combat, 
and which would result in making of MacArthur the supreme 
commander of the main Japanese war effort. 

Bitter repercussions regarding proposed new military ranks 
and titles were already rampant in Washington. Early in Jan 
uary 1944 the President publicly backed the idea of giving 
Marshall and Arnold the rank of General of the Armies, a 
rank that had been voted Pershing at the end of World War I. 
As for the Navy, King and Leahy would be rewarded with a 
new rank of Admiral of the Fleet. MacArthur and Nimitz, who 
were actually in command of the fighting in the Pacific war, 
were left completely out of the picture. 

Bills were drawn up and sent to Congressional committees, 
but friends of both Pershing and MacArthur made such vio 
lent protests that the whole idea was dropped. General Malin 
Craig, who succeeded MacArthur as Army Chief of Staff and 
who had been recalled to active duty as head of the Promotion 
and Retirement Board, called the whole business "disgrace 

Preparations for the Presidential election of the coming fall, 
involving as it did the dispute over a fourth term for Roose 
velt, suddenly developed a new angle: the definite suggestion 
that General Marshall be the running mate of the President 
in order to insure for the Democrats the soldier vote. The 
Roosevelt boom, too, was given decided impetus by the highly 
questionable statement of the President s own physician, Vice 
Admiral Ross Mclntyre, who publicly guaranteed the good 
health of the President, although those who saw him at close 
range knew that he was probably dying. 

Meanwhile ardent groups continued to build up the 

candidacy of MacArthur for the Republican Presidential 
nomination. Raymond Clapper, a distinguished newspaper 
columnist, visited MacArthur s headquarters and cabled home 
that in his opinion the General would take the Republican 
nomination if it was offered him. MacArthur issued no denial. 

In Washington the President approved a carefully drawn 
policy agreement that would settle the bitter argument 
whether a Regular Army officer had the right to enter poli 
tics. The decision held that an officer in the regular establish 
ments could become a candidate only if the nomination were 
tendered to him "without direct or indirect activity or solicita 
tion on his part." 

But MacArthur had little time at the moment to ponder 
over the new ruling. On February 27 he slipped out o 
Brisbane, and flying to Milne Bay, at the lower tip of New 
Guinea, boarded the U.S.S. Phoenix as the guest of Vice Ad 
miral Kinkaid. Two mornings later under a murky sky a little 
group of swift destroyers, with a single reinforced squadron 
of the 5th Cavalry tucked on board four of the tin cans, 
dropped anchor in the bay of Los Negros, in the Admiralty 
Islands. After a short preliminary bombardment the men went 
ashore. MacArthur went with them. 

A few days before this, Kenney s reconnaissance planes had 
brought back pictures showing that there was no real enemy 
strength on the island of Los Negros, which had the only good 
airfield in the group. Willoughby s intelligence insisted that 
there were 4,000 troops, mostly on the main island of Manus, 
which proved to be substantially correct. The isolated Ad 
miralty group, with the magnificent harbor of Manus, was on 
the extreme eastern flank of the enemy-held Bismarck Sea, and 
MacArthur immediately decided that if he grabbed it in a 
surprise attack and was able to hold it and gain its airfields, 
his own right flank would be fully protected for his coming 
advance up the coast of Dutch New Guinea. The little force he 
took with him could handle an initial landing and reconnais 
sance on Los Negros, and he personally would make the decision 
whether to pull out or hold on until reinforcements from the 
ist Cavalry Division, already loaded and waiting, could be 
hurried forward. 


Sniper bullets were still whistling from the edge of the air 
strip when MacArthur shoved forward from the beach to look 
over the situation. Finally he turned to Brigadier General 
William C. Chase, commander of the 800 dismounted cavalry 
men, and said, "You ve got your teeth in him now. Don t let 
go!" Chase grinned and nodded his head in approval. He knew 
that his men here on Los Negros could beat off the dribbling 
attacks from nearby islands. 

[A curious incident occurred on the warship going toward 
the uncertain adventure, when MacArthur s aide, Colonel 
Larry Lehrbas, casually mentioned to the General that the 
few troops he would be sending ashore had had no actual 
battle experience. MacArthur replied slowly: "I have known 
this 5th Cavalry for almost 60 years. When I was a little boy 
of four my father was a captain in the igth Infantry at Fort 
Selden, in the Indian frontier country of New Mexico. 
Geronimo, the Apache scourge, was loose, and our small in 
fantry garrison was to guard the middle fords of the Rio 
Grande. A troop of this same 5th Cavalry under Captain 
Henry Law ton, who was later killed as a major general in 
the Philippines, with Charles King, an old friend of my 
father s, as his lieutenant, rode through to help us. I can still 
remember how I felt when I watched them clatter into the 
little post, their tired horses gray with desert dust. . . . 
They d fight then and they ll fight now. Don t worry about 
them, Larry."] 

[When asked long after the war as to the background of the 
decision to by-pass Rabaul and strike at the Admiralties, Mac- 
Arthur answered: 

The potential value militarily of Rabaul to our arms was to 
furnish an advance naval base. In the progress of the campaign 
its value to the enemy had been practically neutralized as an air 
or naval base for further enemy advances and was largely re 
duced to a stronghold of defense but its harbor facilities were 
good and lacking such an advanced naval base for ourselves it 
represented an appreciable prize. When our intelligence detected 
that the Admiralties, with a fine naval haven at Manus, was 
lightly held the picture changed. The base at Manus was supe 
rior in every way and farther advanced. If it could be taken 

with little loss it would save our relatively weak forces the heavy 
penalty necessary to reduce Rabaul. When General Kenney re 
ported to me that Whitehead s reconnaissance confirmed no 
heavy concentration of enemy forces at Manus I determined to 
attack and if successful leave Rabaul "to die on the vine/* The 
surprise was complete, the Admiralties were taken with minor 
loss and Manus became our great intermediate naval base.] 

The brilliant move to the Admiralties brought a fresh 
avalanche of favorable publicity for MacArthur. But the States 
were eight or ten thousand miles away and in Australia and 
New Guinea there was more than enough to occupy the Gen 
eral^ mind. For one thing he faced the task of flying to the 
Australian capital at Canberra to be the guest of honor at a 
banquet given by Prime Minister Curtin and the Australian 
Parliament celebrating the second anniversary of his arrival at 
Port Darwin. Only once before, in March of 1942, when he 
had first journeyed to Canberra, had he left his immediate 
war duties for a single day or night. 

At the close of the great dinner the Prime Minister and the 
opposition leader made gracious speeches, and then John 
Curtin introduced the General. Deeply touched by the solemn 
moment and by memories of the anguish and defeat that had 
surrounded his initial arrival, MacArthur arose, stern and 
white-faced. He used no notes. In cold type much of the 
warmth and quiet emotion of his talk this night is lost: 

Mr. Prime Minister: I cannot tell you the sense of distinction 
I feel in being Australia s guest tonight. It adds another link 
to the long chain of friendship which binds together our peoples 
and our countries. It is a symbol of that unity of effort that 
recognizes but one indomitable purpose victory. 

The last two years have been momentous ones for Australia. 
You have faced the greatest peril in your history. With your 
very life at stake, you have met and overcome the challenge. 
It was here the tide of war turned in the Pacific, and the mighty 
wave of invasion broke and rolled back. 

Two years ago when I landed on your soil I said to the people 
of the Philippines whence I came, "I shall return." Tonight I 
repeat these words, "I shall return." Nothing is more certain 
than our ultimate reconquest and liberation from the enemy of 
those and adjacent islands. One of the great offensives of the 

war will at the appropriate time be launched for that purpose. 
With God s help it should be decisive, not only of redemption 
but of Japanese isolation from southern conquests and of Chinese 
restoration of Pacific Ocean communication. 

On such an occasion as this my thoughts go back to those men 
who were sent on their last crusade in the jungle thickness to 
the north where they made the fight that saved this continent. 
With faith in their hearts and hope on their lips they passed 
beyond the mists that blind us here. Their yesterday makes pos 
sible our tomorrow. They came from the four quarters of the 
world, but whatever the land that gave them birth, under their 
stark white crosses they belong now to Australia forever. 

I thank you, sir, for the high honor and hospitality of tonight 
in their and their comrades* names. I shall always recall it as 
joined with their immortal memory. 

Rough-handed men, who had come up from the mines and 
ranches and factories of this isolated continent, made no effort 
to hide the tears in their eyes as they cheered this leader 
from a distant land. 

That night the Prime Minister told General MacArthur an 
amusing story about his visit to Washington. At least once 
MacArthur repeated it [to the author]. Curtin had finished his 
official farewells and was ready to fly back to Australia, when he 
decided to drop in at the White House for a purely informal call 
on the President. Roosevelt received him graciously, and Curtin 
explained that he had come only because he wanted to thank 
him again for his many courtesies and personal kindnesses. 

Just as he was getting ready to leave the Prime Minister 
suddenly said: "Mr. President, certainly it s none of my busi 
ness and probably I shouldn t say this, but I can assure you in 
utter honesty and sincerity that General MacArthur has no 
more idea of running against you for the Presidency than I 
have. He has told me that a dozen times." 

According to Curtin *s story there were a number of papers 
on the President s desk, and as Roosevelt reared back in his 
chair he threw up his arms and the papers were scattered in 
all directions. 

"Steve! Steve!" the President yelled gleefully. 

The understanding press secretary, who had just left the 
room, stuck his head back into the study and the President 
shouted the news. 

He was as happy as a boy with a new toy, Curtin told 
MacArthur. Then he added: "I m sure that every night when 
he turned in, the President had been looking under the bed 
to make dead sure you weren t there." 

But shortly the entire political atmosphere of MacArthur s 
unsolicited candidacy was to be blackened by a cloud that was 
of a most embarrassing nature. On Friday morning, April 14, 
papers over the country carried the text of two letters that a 
freshman Representative, Dr. A. L. Miller of Nebraska, had 
written MacArthur, and his replies. On his own responsibility 
the Congressman had released both his own letter and Mac- 
Arthur s, which had been marked Personal. 

The first letter read in part: 

Sept. 18, 1943 
My dear General: 

. . . There is a tremendous ground swell in this country 
against the New Deal. They have crucified themselves on the 
cross of too many unnecessary rules and regulations. 

You should not be a candidate for the Presidency, but should 
permit the people to draft you. When drafted you should accept 
the nomination by saying "I accept the nomination as a candi 
date for the Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces." I am 
convinced that you will carry every state in the Union and this 
includes the solid South. 

Let your friends in this country nail to the cross the many 
vicious underhanded moves which will be started to smear and 
destroy you as a citizen and commander in the Pacific. 

Undoubtedly this letter will be read and perhaps censored. 
The New Deal, including President Roosevelt, is scared to death 
of the movement in the country for you. Roosevelt will prob 
ably not even be a candidate if you are nominated. 

I hope you will not consider that these ideas are conceived 
with any thought of personal gain to myself or party. I am sug 
gesting them because I am certain that unless this New Deal can 
be stopped our American way of life is forever doomed. 

You owe it to civilization and to the children yet unborn to 


accept the nomination, which I am most certain is just as sure 
as the sun will rise tomorrow. You will be our next President. 
With kindest personal regards, 

Sincerely yours, 
A. L. Miller, M.C. 
Fourth District, Neb. 

MacArthur s answer of October 2 obviously was intended 
only for the Congressman s eyes: 

I thank you so sincerely for your fine letter. ... I do not 
anticipate in any way your flattering predictions, but I do un 
reservedly agree with the complete wisdom and statesmanship 
of your comments. 

I knew your state well in the days of used-to-be. I have en 
joyed many a delightful hunting excursion there and shall always 
remember with so much gratefulness the whole-hearted hospital 
ity and warm comradeship extended to me on such occasions. 
Those days seem singularly carefree and happy compared to the 
sinister drama of our present chaos and confusion. 

On January 27, 1944, Dr. Miller wrote a second letter to 
the General that read: 

. . . During the holidays I had an opportunity to visit through 
Texas, California and Nebraska. I again want to tell you there 
is a tremendous revolution on in this country. It is more than 
a political revolution. It is a mass movement by the citizens who 
are displeased with the many domestic mistakes now being made 
by the Administration. They axe also convinced that the events 
leading up to Pearl Harbor and since Pearl Harbor in the allo 
cation of war supplies are not above critical examination. 

... A great many people in the country are seriously con 
cerned about the wave of communism and nationalism which 
seems bound to engulf the European countries, Asia and South 
America. It is that system of government generally in which gov 
ernment is no longer the servant of the people but their master. 

If this system of left-wingers and New Dealism is continued 
another four years, I am certain that this Monarchy which is 
being established in America will destroy the rights of the com 
mon people. 

There is no movement which attracts so much attention and 
so little criticism as the one that is labelled MacArthur for 
Commander-in-chief and President of a free America, , . . It 

is going to take an individual who is fearless and willing to make 
political sacrifices to cut out the underbrush and help destroy 
this monstrosity . . . which is engulfing the nation and destroy 
ing free enterprise and every right o the individual. 

MacArthur answered on February n, 1944, and it was ad 
dressed as follows: 


Dear Congressman Miller: 

I appreciate very much your scholarly letter of January 27. 
Your description of conditions in the United States is a sobering 
one indeed and is calculated to arouse the thoughtful considera 
tion of every true patriot. 

We must not inadvertently slip into the same condition in 
ternally as the one which we fight externally. Like Abraham 
Lincoln, I am a firm believer in the people, and, if given the 
truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. 
The great point is to bring before them the real facts. 

Out here we are doing what we can with what we have, I will 
be glad, however, when more substantial forces are placed at my 

With cordial regards and best wishes, 

Douglas MacArthur 

When the letters were published a barrage of bitter recrim 
ination descended on MacArthur, now in the midst of prep 
arations for the great Hollandia operation. He had no other 
recourse but to issue a statement in his own defense. At best 
it was a most awkward situation, with a possibility of dire 
consequences. His public answer, dated April 17, 1944, was 
the third time that he had repudiated all political ambitions: 

My attention has been called to the publication by Congress 
man Miller of a personal correspondence with him. In so far as 
my letters are concerned they were never intended for publica 
tion. Their perusal will show any fair-minded person that they 
were neither politically inspired nor intended to convey blanket 
approval of the Congressman s views. I entirely repudiate the 
sinister interpretation that they were intended as criticism of any 
political philosophy or any personages in high office. They were 
written merely as amiable acknowledgments, to a member of 


our highest law-making body, of letters containing flattering and 
friendly remarks to me personally. To construe them otherwise 
is to misrepresent my intent. I have not received Congressman 
Miller s third letter in which he is reported to advise me to an 
nounce candidacy for the office of President of the U. S. 

The high Constitutional processes of our representative and 
republican form of government, in which there resides with the 
people the sacred duty of choosing and electing their Chief 
Executive, are of so imposing a nature as to be beyond the sphere 
of any individual s coercion or decision. I can only say as I have 
said before, I am not a candidate for the office nor do I seek it. 
I have devoted myself exclusively to the conduct of war. My sole 
ambition is to assist my beloved country to win this vital struggle 
by the fulfillment of such duty as has been or may be assigned 
to me. 

But even this formal disavowal failed to pacify the angry 
critics who sprang to the defense of the President and his ad 
ministration. So great was the chorus of disapproval that on 
April 30, shortly after his return from the unprecedented Hol- 
landia by-pass, he felt it necessary to issue a follow-up state 
ment. This time his remarks were so pointed and conclusive 
that they removed all possibility of Roosevelt having to face 
him in his fight for a fourth-term election in November. Also, 
the Dewey forces no longer had to consider the threat of Mac- 
Arthur as a condidate for the Republican nomination. His 
statement read: 

Since my return from the Hollandia operation I have had 
brought to my attention a number of newspaper articles profess 
ing in strongest terms a widespread public opinion that it is 
detrimental to our war effort to have an officer in high position 
on active service at the front, considered for nomination for the 
office of President. I have on several occasions announced I was 
not a candidate for the position. Nevertheless, in view of these 
circumstances, in order to make my position entirely unequivocal, 
I request that no action be taken that would link my name in 
any way with the nomination. I do not covet it nor would I 
accept it. 

Apparently this was a definite enough avowal to satisfy the 
most skeptical critic or the worried professional politicians. 

On January 2, 1944, MacArthur s people swooped down on 
the small Japanese base of Saidor on the Guinea coast a short 
distance above the mouth of Vitiaz Strait. It advanced 
Kenney s fighter line so that his bombers could penetrate 
under fighter cover northwestward to the great enemy base at 
Wewak. In the country between Saidor and Wewak were 5,500 
Japanese at Madang and an additional 10,000 at Hansa Bay. 
At Wewak were 16,000 enemy troops, and at all three bases 
were air strips and fighter craft. 

By-passing Madang and Hansa Bay, MacArthur might strike 
directly at Wewak, but it would be contrary to his dictum of 
"Hit em where they ain t." Wewak was apparently as far as 
his fighter planes could protect his bombers. Two hundred 
miles on up the Guinea coast was the beautiful harbor of 
Hollandia on Humbolt Bay. Willoughby s G-2 had been re 
porting for some time that the Japanese were building the Hol 
landia area into a great supply base; its three fields, tucked 
well behind the Cyclops Mountains, were swiftly being turned 
into an important air center. 

While preliminary work was going ahead on plans for the 
landing at Hansa Bay, Brigadier General Bonner Fellers, the 
able and imaginative head of G-g s Planning Board, conceived 
the idea of an alternative move, embracing a great 5oo-mile 
by-pass directly to Hollandia. However, it was frowned on, 
and Fellers was directed by his immediate superior, Major 
General Steve Chamberlain, to forget his bold dream and com 
plete plans for the Hansa Bay operations. But MacArthur, 
upon being advised of the daring Hollandia suggestion, quietly 
sent word to go ahead with drawing up the plan for the big 
jump. Kenney was consulted, and both he and the Navy rep 
resentative, Captain Ray Tarbuck, were confident that the great 
by-pass could be successfully accomplished. 

The day that orders for the half-way Hansa Bay landings 
were actually being mimeographed, MacArthur called a con 
ference of all his commanders and bluntly announced Hol 
landia as the next operation. Brigadier General Fellers, who 
had originally conceived the idea, was called on to make "the 


dry run" before the group. The brilliant plan would by-pass 
60,000 enemy troops and leave them for mosquitoes and croc 
odiles and hunger and disease to finish off. 

Kenney, who enjoyed the prospect of the impossible, gave 
ample assurance that he could take out all enemy airfields 
at Hollandia and in the intervening 500 miles of coastal coun 
try. By March he would receive a batch of new, long-range 
P-39 fighters, and by installing extra belly-tanks in his old 
models he would actually have fighters that could accompany 
the bombers all the way to Hollandia and return. 

MacArthur immediately asked the Navy in the Central and 
South Pacific for landing craft and escort carriers, with the 
additional loan of the beautiful new flat-tops of the main 
Pacific fleet to give protection immediately before and during 
the actual Hollandia landings. Admiral Nimitz flew out to 
Brisbane to draw up the final integration of his naval and air 
forces with those of the Southwest Pacific. 

Manus Harbor in the Admiralties was chosen as the base 
for the joint rendezvous, with Admiral Dan Barbey in charge 
of the amphibious force. Lt. General Walter Krueger, com 
mander of the Sixth Army, accompanied the expedition, but Lt. 
General Eichelberger, with his I Corps, comprising the 24th 
and 4ist U. S. Infantry Divisions, would have actual command 
of the landings at Hollandia and Tanahmerah and the capture 
of the airfields to their rear. A third landing would be made 
at Aitape, 120 miles to the east of Hollandia, with Brigadier 
General Jens Doe in charge. MacArthur sailed with Admiral 
Kinkaid on the cruiser Nashville. As air-coordinator of 
Nimitz flat-tops and the ground army the fabulous Colonel 
Ralph J. Erickson was aboard Lt. General Eichelberger s de 

During the night of April 19-20 the 300 ships secretly as 
sembled outside Manus, and at dawn there spread out before 
the excited eyes of the thousands of ship-borne soldiers a sight 
no words can quite describe. In a circle some ten miles across, 
the mighty armada moved northwestward as though bound 
straight for the great Japanese base at Palau. Swift destroyers 
rode the outer circles. Each of the three groups that were to 
make the landings sailed in columns, with American and 







Australian cruisers in between. Escort carriers sent their planes 
aloft to scan the distant horizons for enemy snoopers. Far to 
the northwest a task force of swift new battleships and carriers 
blocked the approach of any Japanese fleet from the north. 
They would provide the final preliminary bombardment of 
the three beaches and cover the actual landings. 

Suddenly during the night the armada swung to the left and 
each column cut back to its target. At 6:20 in the morning 
the warships opened up. Most of the 4,000 enemy troops were 
quartered behind the mountains on the three airfields, and 
the few soldiers at the landing beaches in the Hollandia area 
fled in terror and surprise. Vast stores, guns and thousands of 
tons of equipment and supplies were abandoned, and only a 
few scattering shots met the Americans as they stepped ashore 
from their landing craft and amphibious alligators and amph- 
tracs. Not a single American soldier was killed on the beaches 
by enemy fire. 

Within a day or two after their capture the air strips were 
hosts to Kenney s fighters, and within another week the 
bombers were heading northward up the doomed Guinea 
coast. By May 17 the island of Wakde fell, and ten days later 
Eichelberger opened the desperate battle among the connect 
ing caves and deep bunkers on Biak Island; and once again he 
proved the quality of his leadership. His fine work on the Hol 
landia operation had won "Uncle Bob" the command of the 
brand new Eighth Army. 

MacArthur s headquarters had now been located in Brisbane 
for two years. In the late summer of 1942 his advance head 
quarters were established in Port Moresby, in the Papuan end 
of New Guinea. Whenever such severe fighting as the Buna 
and Lae operations was going on, he lived at the old Govern 
ment House in the tropical port, and from here flew to the 
battle areas to make his own first-hand surveys. 

At Brisbane a double suite of rooms in the housekeeping 
end of the modern Lennon s Hotel was set aside for him and his 
family. The hotel had been taken over for the senior members 

of his headquarters staff, and a few rooms were reserved for 
Very Important People, many of whom never got a glimpse 
of the Supreme Commander. 

The usual maid service was supplied by the hotel for the 
family quarters, but almost all the simple meals were prepared 
either by the energetic and devoted Jean MacArthur or by Ah 
Cheu. The General s taste in food ran to unpretentious dishes, 
and when his aide would telephone Jean that he was about to 
leave his office a few blocks away, she would busy herself with 
the late lunch or supper. Regardless of the time, she sat down 
and shared the meal with him. 

His schedule was similar to what he had been following for 
the quarter-century since he had been appointed superintend 
ent at West Point when he wore the single star of a brigadier 
general. He would get to his office somewhere around 9:30 or 
10:00 and not leave until nearly 1:30 or 2 o clock. After 
lunch he would ordinarily take a short nap, and once he re 
turned to headquarters he seldom left until 8 or 9 o clock. Often 
he would be awakened in the night to receive important cables 
or intelligence reports. 

There was usually time for official military and civilian 
visitors from home, but he was unimpressed by names alone or 
by missions. There were no formal dinner parties, public re 
ceptions or official nonsense of any kind. He kept his mind 
and his time free for important business only. About the only 
variation in his old formula was that he no longer spent late 
hours at night in reading. 

Along in this spring of 1944 news came from the fighting 
front that a Japanese junior officer had been captured, and in a 
pocket of his tunic had been found his diary with proof that 
he had taken part in beheading one of the Doolittle fliers who 
had been shot down in the Tokyo raid. An old writing friend 
attached to headquarters in a very personal way happened to 
be with the General when he received the report. 

He read it aloud [to the author], and slowly a fire of anger 
began to blaze deep within him. He rose to his feet and as he 
paced back and forth a solemn resolve fused into words. 

"I shall assign the finest lawyer in my command to this man s 
defense," he vowed, his eyes flashing with rage. "I shall see to 


it that he is given a fair and just trial. And if he is found 
guilty I shall hang him to the tallest tree in New Guinea, so 
help me God!" 

While MacArthur was clearing the way through the Vitiaz 
Strait in December 1943, and then in late April conducting 
his great 5oo-mile Hollandia jump and the subsequent opera 
tions against Wakde and Biak, Nimitz navy had not been idle 
in its vast Central Pacific area. 

Back in November of 1943 it had captured Tarawa in the 
Gilbert Islands, but due largely to faulty intelligence work 
regarding the shore approaches and the enemy s guns, this was 
a costly victory. The price paid was 985 brave marines killed 
and 2,193 wounded. The island had been defended by 2,700 
troops and 2,000 civilian laborers. 

But the terrible mistakes were not repeated when, on the 
last day of January, triple landings were made on the 
Kwajalein atoll by the 2nd Marine Division and the Army s 
7th Infantry Division. 

Eniwetok came next on the Navy schedule, and then on 
June 15, 1944, landings were made on the well-defended island 
of Saipan in the Marianas. The hard battle continued until 
July 9, and mopping-up operations by the 27th Infantry Divi 
sion continued for nearly two months. All but 2,068 of the 
29,000 in the Japanese garrison were killed. The American 
casualties were 3,126 killed,. 326 missing, and 13,160 wounded, 
a total of 16,612. 

Planes from the aircraft carriers of the great Central Pacific 
Fleet had begun pounding away at the enemy s 500 land- 
based planes in the Marianas for four days before the assault 
landings began. An additional 500 Japanese carrier-based 
planes had been assigned to the defense of the island group, 
but most of them were suddenly shifted to oppose MacArthur s 
operation against Biak far to the southwest. By the time the 
Saipan landings began Admiral Marc A. Mitscher s brilliant 
task force had virtually wiped out all this enemy air. 

Four days after the beachheads had been established on 

Saipan, a Japanese carrier force let loose a major air action 
that immediately brought on the Battle of the Philippine Sea. 
During the opening day 402 enemy carrier planes were de 
stroyed at a cost of 26 American Navy planes: and American 
submarines sunk two enemy carriers. On the second day four 
more Japanese air carriers, one battleship, one cruiser and one 
tanker were sunk. With six of her air carriers gone to the 
bottom, Japan s air strength on the sea was never to regain its 
potency. The result of this great American naval triumph was 
made clear four months later in the three key battles of Leyte 

Shortly after this a victory over nearby Tinian, in the 
Marianas, was won by the Navy at a bargain price. But the 
same could hardly be said for Guam, where the grd Marine 
Division, with the ist Provisional Marine Brigade and the 
77th Infantry Division in support, suffered 1,919 killed and 
7,122 wounded a total casualty list of 9,041. The Japanese 
lost some 17,000 killed and 485 taken prisoner. 

These bloody and prolonged battles for the Marianas were 
still in progress when MacArthur landed by his private plane, 
Bataan, at Pearl Harbor on July 26. Two weeks before this 
he had received a cable from General Marshall ordering him 
to attend a coming conference with a Mr. BIG in Hawaii. It 
was a fair guess that the Mr. BIG was the President of the 
United States. 

As no mention of bringing staff officers with him had been 
made, MacArthur left on his plane with only his personal 
aide, Colonel Larry Lehrbas, who was enroute to the United 
States; a medical aide, Lt. Colonel Chambers, and Brigadier 
General Bonner Fellers, G-i, who a short time before had 
been in charge of the planning section of his staff. MacArthur 
paced up and down the narrow aisle of the Bataan y disgruntled 
and angry at the idea of being called away from his war duties. 

Now and again he would stop his endless walking to give 
vent to Ms feelings. The words fairly crackled out between 
his lips during one particular outburst: "The humiliation of 
forcing me to leave my command to fly to Honolulu for a politi 
cal picture-taking junket! In the First War I never for a mo 
ment left my division, even when wounded by gas and ordered 


to the hospital. In all my fighting days I ve never before had to 
turn my back on my assignment/ 

When his plane taxied in at the landing field he was driven 
at once to the quarters of Lt. General Robert Richardson, the 
commander of all army training in the Central Pacific and 
an old friend from West Point days. Soon Richardson arrived 
with an invitation from the President asking MacArthur to 
board his ship immediately. 

MacArthur was still in his flying clothes when the President 
enthusiastically greeted him and seated him to his right. The 
movie cameras began clicking. MacArthur had not seen the 
President for almost seven years, and he was shocked to note 
how obviously his health had failed. 

Back at Richardson s quarters later that afternoon Mac- 
Arthur angrily reiterated that he felt convinced that the Presi 
dent s purpose in the trip was just as he had surmised that 
Roosevelt, having been nominated in Chicago for a fourth 
term, felt it would be good politics to show himself intent on 
winning the Pacific war and conferring in complete harmony 
with MacArthur. 

Just before dinner that evening MacArthur was handed a 
highly confidential letter from Admiral King, who had left 
Pearl Harbor only a day or two before. Obviously it was King s 
friendly idea to put MacArthur on his guard regarding the 
proposed intrusion of the British into the Far Pacific battle 
area. Such differences as there were between the two men had 
always been solely professional and not personal. Certainly 
they shared the same views regarding what was best for their 
country when it came to the neglect of the Pacific in favor of 
the European and Mediterranean theatres. 

In June 1944 the British and American Combined Chiefs 
of Staffs had met in London. The British advanced the idea 
of their taking over the operations against the Japanese-held 
Dutch East Indies, using the western and northern ports and 
installations in Australia as their base. This included the sug 
gestion that as soon as MacArthur s forces were established in 
the Philippines, Mountbatten would take command of Aus 
tralia and the rich Dutch islands. 

The letter only added to the resentment MacArthur must 

have had over being pulled away from his own theatre and 
responsibilities for this present meeting with Roosevelt. Nor 
were matters helped when after dinner at Richardson s quar 
ters he received a message from the President inviting him to 
ride with him on a tour of inspection the following morning. 
MacArthur was scheduled to have dinner with Roosevelt that 
next evening, to be followed by a final conference on the 
second morning. 

That night MacArthur felt almost as depressed and 
frustrated as he had on Corregidor on the day, more than two 
years before, when he fought against the black mood of 
despair that came with the President s personal orders that he 
leave his doomed garrison and proceed to Australia. As he 
walked the floor of his bedroom here in Richardson s quarters 
this late July night of 1944, he talked without restraint to a 
trusted member of his staff regarding his long years of struggle 
and his many defeats and frustrations: and he spoke of his 
country s inadequate leadership, the terrible mistakes made 
in the war and America s uncertain future. He seemed to 
unburden himself in a way he had seldom if ever done before 
in all his life. 

The following morning he sat with the President and Ad 
miral Nimitz in a motor car that was driven slowly through 
an avenue of smartly dressed soldiers, lined up shoulder to 
shoulder on both sides of the highway. General Richardson 
put on a magnificent spectacle, with more than 25,000 troops 
snapping their rifles to "Present Arms" as the President rode by. 

During the lengthy inspection MacArthur turned to Roose 
velt and asked if he, the President, believed he could defeat 
Dewey as easily as he had defeated Willkie four years previ 
ously. Roosevelt replied that he was so busy with the war that 
he was paying little attention to practical politics. Gently Mac- 
Arthur prodded him, and finally Roosevelt observed that 
Dewey was a nice little man but inexperienced. He left the 
impression that he had no fear of the New York governor 
as Republican candidate. 

When the dinner was over at the President s house that 
evening, the three guests, Admirals Leahy and Nimitz and 
General MacArthur, pulled up their chairs in front of a great 


wall map. Admiral Nimitz was asked to present the Navy s 
plan for Pacific victory. Quietly the Admiral explained that 
once MacArthur was well planted on Mindanao, he was to be 
left there with two or three army divisions and part of his 5th 
Air Force. He would be relieved of the remainder of his troops 
and air and assigned to the task of cleaning up the Japanese 
garrisons in the lower Philippines and the Dutch East Indies. 
Such part of the 5th Air Force that remained under his com 
mand would have the job of neutralizing the enemy air in 
Luzon, which, in turn, would be by-passed by the Central 
Pacific Forces, despite its quarter-million Japanese troops and 
the great naval and air bases still functioning there. 

In the meantime the Navy would continue its drive across 
the Central Pacific, building strong bases as it pushed west 
ward. By the early summer of 1945 it would be ready to in 
vade Formosa, if necessary. MacArthur s air would continue to 
be held responsible for the neutralization of the Japanese air 
on Luzon. 

MacArthur was astounded. So this was the reason for the 
conference! He was to be forced to go back on his solemn 
pledge to the thousands of tortured and starving American 
prisoners of war and internees and to the millions on the 
Islands who had believed in him and in America. His own 
vow to liberate the Philippines, as well as Roosevelt s pledges, 
and his country s American national honor, were all to be 

George Marshall s name was not mentioned, but MacArthur 
could hardly help concluding that he must at least tacitly have 
given his consent to this disturbing plan to abandon the liber 
ation of 7,000 emaciated American war prisoners and civilian 
internees and 17 million enslaved Filipinos. But, obviously,, 
even the Joint Chiefs of Staff would not dare sponsor such a 
radical undertaking as this unless the President himself could, 
be influenced to make the final decision. 

MacArthur, aroused and alert, kept his composure and 
quietly began his arguments. He had not prepared himself to^ 
face any such shocking change in his over-all war plans, but he 
rose to the challenge. He explained that he could not guaran 
tee to neutralize the net of Japanese air bases on Luzon from. 

either Mindanao or Leyte. He could accept the assignment 
only if he occupied the lower end of the long, narrow island of 
Luzon itself. 

If he were permitted to take Manila Bay, American sea, 
submarine and air power could then cut the life-line of enemy 
merchant shipping from the conquered areas of Indo-China, 
Malaya, Siam, Burma and the Dutch East Indies. From the 
Manila Bay district and from air bases in the northern part of 
Luzon, the enemy air forces on Formosa could be smothered 
and its landing beaches neutralized. 

Later that night MacArthur managed a few moments alone 
with the President. He warned him of the political conse 
quences of the move. 

"You cannot abandon 17 million loyal Filipino Christians 
to the Japanese in favor of first liberating Formosa and return 
ing it to China," he passionately argued. "American public 
opinion will condemn you, Mr. President. And it would be 

Nimitz and the President s personal chief of staff. Admiral 
Leahy, returned to the room, and the talk went on until mid 
night. Months before this MacArthur had figured out his re 
sultant plan of operation, once he had sufficient sea, air and 
ground forces, and when the time had come to land at Lingayen 
Gulf in Luzon and then advance southward to Manila. He de 
clared now that he could be in Manila in five weeks from the 
day his troops stepped ashore on the landing beaches, 120 
miles above the Philippine capital. 

Admiral Leahy challenged the statement. MacArthur an 
swered that all that he could do was to give his honest pro 
fessional estimate. Leahy graciously answered that the General 
was in a position to know, but that he could not conscientiously 
approve of the estimate. Time was to prove how right Mac- 
Arthur was, for six months later he completed the almost un 
believable task of entering Manila in exactly 26 days from 
the initial landings at Lingayen Gulf. 

The President made no final decision. They would talk it 
over the following morning at 10:30. The President planned 
to board his cruiser after lunch, and MacArthur would then 
return to Brisbane by air. 


After this session had ended, the navy strategists among them 
selves had outlined additional arguments which Nimitz now 
presented. Again MacArthur made it clear how necessary for 
winning the war was the capture of Luzon, and how easy it 
would be to cut Japan off from the oil and rubber, rice and 
tin that she was getting from her conquests along and below 
the South China Sea, once Manila Bay and northern Luzon 
were in American hands. 

The President interrupted: "But, Douglas, to take Luzon 
would demand heavier losses than we can stand. It seems to 
me we must by-pass it." 

There was neither bitterness nor excitement in MacArthur s 
studied reply. 

"Mr. President," he began, "my losses would not be heavy, 
any more than they have been in the past. The days of the 
frontal attack are over. Modern infantry weapons are too 
deadly, and direct assault is no longer feasible. Only mediocre 
commanders still use it. Your good commanders do not turn in 
heavy losses." 

Then he outlined his whole conception of future operations 
in the various areas of the Southwest Pacific. Once he held the 
whole of the Philippines, he would begin the reconquest of the 
Dutch East Indies, using mostly Australian troops for the 
ground operations. He would move down on these Dutch is 
lands from his bases in the north, attacking them from their 

For a moment he referred to the items in the confidential 
letter he had received from Admiral King, which had briefed 
him on the British plans to establish Mountbatten in Eastern 
Australia. MacArthur warned the President that both Aus 
tralia and the Netherlands would be suspicious of imported 
British leadership. 

The President replied that he had not the slightest inten 
tion of making it possible for the British to take over any part 
of the Dutch possessions. 

And then with all the passion of his being MacArthur 
reiterated his plea for America not to abandon her pledge to 
the Filipinos that we would rescue them and restore their 

liberties. When he had finished, he bowed to the President 
and quietly left the conference. 

As he passed around the end chair Admiral Leahy plucked 
at his sleeve. 

"I ll go along with you, Douglas/ he said in a stage whisper. 

When MacArthur flew back to his battlefront that afternoon, 
he took with him no positive assurance from the President 
that he had escaped the trap set for him. But never again was 
the Navy s plan of by-passing Luzon officially referred to, and 
MacArthur went ahead with his program to move straight on 
north to lower Mindanao. 

His was the long view as against those who were concerned 
primarily in hurrying along unconditional surrender and gain 
ing complete victory at any cost in both the Atlantic and 
Pacific wars. Tragic and inevitable were the results of Amer 
ica s failure to have a well thought-out and continuing na 
tional and global policy. 

It was this lack of the long view that was playing such 
deadly havoc with American interests in the many important 
conferences that had been or were about to be held. Yet not 
once had there been a formal request for MacArthur s con 
clusions regarding the over-all problems of this Pacific world. 
Nor, save here at Pearl Harbor, had he been invited to attend 
a single conference anywhere throughout the war. 



With the President s personal refusal to sanction the Navy 
plan to by-pass MacArthur and Luzon, there came an easy 


worfeing agreement between the actual commanders within the 
two great areas to get on with the war. But it was yet to be 
seen how much Admiral King personally was willing to aban 
don the last of his hopes to make the Japanese war primarily 

Certainly King had no idea of slacking off his drives straight 
across the Central Pacific. He had a wary eye on Iwo Jima and 
then possibly either Okinawa or Formosa. Four months after 
the capture of Saipan in July 1944 the new long-range B-sg 
bombers were blasting Tokyo, while other groups of these 
superb aircraft were being based in Allied fields in lower China. 

Kenney had been given control of the igth Air Force from 
the South Pacific, in addition to his own 5th Air Force, but 
never was he given a single 6-29, which could double the 
range and could carry twice the load of his outmoded 6-175. 
General "Hap" Arnold was made the exclusive control agent 
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for these deadly B-sgs, now being 
turned out by the hundreds. This provision made it certain 
that MacArthur s Southwest theatre would have none of these 
magnificent new weapons, despite their usefulness in covering 
the tremendous distances involved. It was a very specific illus 
tration of how MacArthur was constantly being starved. 

On September 15, 1944, simultaneous landings were made 
by the Navy on the Island of Peleliu of the Palau group, 
in the southwest corner of Nimitz s Central Pacific Area, and by 
MacArthur on the island of Morotai. Morotai is only a little 
more than 300 miles south of lower Mindanao. The right flank 
of MacArthur s drive on north to the Philippines would now 
be secure. 

Morotai was the last of a long series of landings that were 
made by MacArthur during the isoo-mile advance along the 
shores of New Guinea. Below Morotai, some 200,000 Japa 
nese troops were now by-passed. There were possibly 20,000 
on nearby Halmahera, which was by-passed in favor of Moro 

In preparation for the twin landings on Peleliu and Moro 
tai, Kenney s two air forces and the carrier force of Halse/s 
great Third Fleet proved once again the importance of taking 
out not only the enemy air on and near the actual landingf 

but all air within 500 miles of the beaches which were to be 
assaulted. There were 250 Japanese planes on Halmahera, 
close to Morotai, and these were destroyed or driven off, and 
the fields on Mindanao and all threatening enemy bases were 
bombed to their death. 

As a consequence, MacArthur, now aboard the cruiser Nash 
ville, could see his men wading ashore standing up, with a re 
sultant casualty list of only 44 Americans. The Navy, however, 
had been less fortunate on Peleliu, where the ist Marine Di 
vision and the 8ist Army Division eventually killed and buried 
11,968 enemy troops and captured 468, but the American 
losses were 1,097 killed, 242 missing and 6,792 wounded. 

Shortly after the first waves hit the shores at Morotai, Mac- 
Arthur made a talk to the men on the beachhead. It was writ 
ten down at the time and later given out as a formal statement, 
containing the essence of his thoughts about the war and the 
fate that awaited Japan. It was obvious that he was already 
thinking deeply on the post-war problems that would face 
both Japan and her victors. His words to his troops were: 

Our position here is now secure and the immediate operation 
has achieved its purpose. We now dominate the Moluccas. I 
rejoice that it has been done with so little loss. Our campaign 
is entering upon its decisive stage. Jap ground troops still fight 
with the greatest tenacity. The military quality of the rank and 
file remains of the highest. Their officer corps, however, deterio 
rates as you go up the scale; it is fundamentally based upon a 
caste and feudal system and does not represent strict professional 
merit. Therein lies Japan s weakness. Her sons are strong of limb 
and stout of heart but weak in leadership. Gripped inexorably 
by a military hierarchy, that hierarchy is now failing the nation. 
It has neither the imagination nor the foresighted ability to 
organize Jap resources for a total war. 

Defeat now stares Japan in the face. Its barbaric codes have 
dominated Japanese character and culture for centuries and have 
practiced a type of national savagery at strange variance with 
many basic impulses of the Jap people. Its successful domination 
has tfeen based largely on the people s belief in its infallibility. 
When public opinion realizes that its generals and admirals have 
failed in the field of actual combat and campaign, the revulsion 
produced in Japanese thought will be terrific. 


Therein lies a basis for ultimate hope that the Japanese citizen 
will ease his almost idolatrous worship of the military, and re 
adjust his thoughts along more rational lines. No sophistry can 
disguise the fact from him that the military has failed him in 
this, his greatest hour of need. That failure may mark the be 
ginning of a new and ultimately happier era for him. His hour 
of decision is close at hand. 

The spell of war was on MacArthur. Walking along the busy 
beachhead, where men and supplies were still pouring ashore, 
he stopped now and again to talk to little groups of soldiers. 
Later he stood with a few officers and for a long moment he 
gazed northward toward the enemy-occupied Philippines. 
Deep emotion gripped him as he said in a low voice, as if 
speaking only to himself: "They are waiting for me there. It 
has been a long time/* 


Back in the new G.H.Q. at Hollandia, Captain Ray Tarbuck, 
U.S.N., assigned to MacArthur as a naval representative, was 
detailed to write out the general sea plan for the Philippine 
invasion. The original idea of securing bases in Mindanao had 
been abandoned because Kenney s air would be too far from 
the Manila Bay area and because Nimitz refused to send units 
of the great Pacific Fleet into the restricted inland seas. Tar- 
buck s orders now were to draw up detailed plans for the naval 
side of the invasion of Leyte. 

While Tarbuck was busy with this task, a navy flier from 
the Central Pacific carrier force, which was engaged in bomb 
ing Manila Bay installations, was downed on Leyte as he was 
returning to his ship. By luck he landed safely and fell into 
the hands of friendly Filipino guerillas, who managed to sig 
nal a submarine that returned him to his carrier. His report 
that Leyte was lightly held was forwarded by Halsey to Nim 
itz, who in turn relayed it to the Joint Chiefs of Staff attending 
the Roosevelt-Churchill conference in Quebec. Nimitz added 
the suggestion that if the Leyte invasion were to be pushed 
forward, he would abandon the invasion of Yap and offer Mac- 

Arthur the use of a Central Pacific Army Corps now enroute 
to Yap. The Joint Chiefs immediately agreed to the suggestion 
if MacArthur approved. 

The U.S.S. Nashville, with MacArthur on board, was ob 
serving radio silence off Morotai, so that the decision had to be 
made by the senior staff officers then at the new G.H.Q. at 
Hollandia in New Guinea. Kenney happened to be on hand, 
and he added his weight to the suggestion by Sutherland and 
Steve Chamberlain, chief of the operations section, that the 
plan not only be accepted but that the date of the invasion 
be advanced from December 20 to October 20. This new 
date left only one month and five days to complete new plans. 
When MacArthur returned, he was delighted with the decision 
and the swift turn of events. 

While Tarbuck hurried along his naval plans to meet the 
new invasion date he developed an uncanny seafarer s hunch 
that the Japanese must soon commit their battle-line or run 
the risk of its being bombed out of Singapore or destroyed be 
fore the final assault on the home islands. Through various 
channels he went about collecting every grain of information 
regarding the available enemy warships, their auxiliaries and 
their movements. A close track showed a gradual but posi 
tive build-up of sea power in the Philippine area, with the 
possibility that the enemy was working out a decoy system 
that might be termed a "scattered concentration." 

While the Japanese fleet was spread over a great area, a care 
ful checking showed that the entire fleet could appear simul 
taneously in self-supporting task forces at strategic sea chan 
nels, where they might first destroy piecemeal elements of the 
protecting American sea power or lure them away. They could 
then swiftly annihilate the American amphibious force at the 
moment it was engaged in the landings and consequently was 
utterly powerless to defend itself. Time was to prove the cor 
rectness of Tarbuck s imaginative thinking. 

General Tomoyoki Yamashita, conqueror of Singapore, was 
transferred from a top command in Manchuria to the defense 
of the northern Philippine group, including Luzon and Leyte* 
But the Army high command seemed to be in no great hurry. 
Certainly the Americans would strike first at the Davao area 


in Mindanao and would not attempt the invasion of Leyte 
and Luzon until early December. 

It was due to this fatal miscalculation by the Japanese Army 
that MacArthur attained complete strategic surprise in his 
landings in Leyte Gulf on the morning of October 20 f 1944. 
Most of the enemy troops were so completely thrown off bal 
ance that they abandoned their forward defense lines, fleeing 
to the hills in their rear. The four American divisions moved 
swiftly inland, and within ten days all organized resistance in 
the rich eastern Leyte Valley was ended, and five airfields 
were captured. 

Ordinarily the rainy season slackened off before the middle 
of October, but in this fall of 1944 Leyte was subject to almost 
continual rains. Toward the end of the month one of the 
severest typhoons in local history swept westward from the Pa 
cific. It set back the American advances and gave the enemy 
time to bring in heavy troop reinforcements and to dig in in 
the rugged hills and narrow mountainous valleys that lay be 
tween the Leyte Valley and the ports and cities to the western 
and southern ends of the island. 

The five airfields captured during the initial drive were soon 
little more than mud flats* Only one was usable, and it could 
handle only a few fighters at a time. For once Kenney was 
faced with almost complete frustration. 

Halsey s great Third Fleet was assigned to provide strategic 
support for the landing operations on Leyte Gulf. In plain 
wards, his job was to keep his fleet between the Japanese naval 
forces and the American landing in Leyte Gulf. On the fourth 
day, while the captured airfields were still covered with mud, 
the big carriers and swift battleships belonging to the Central 
Pacific Command moved north to intercept the Third Japa 
nese Fleet, which was believed to be coming down the east 
coast of Luzon from its home waters. It was the purpose of this 
Japanese Third Fleet to lure Halsey s force away from the 
Leyte Gulf area, so that three other Japanese naval forces, mov 
ing from the Sulu Sea east through the narrow Straits of 
San Bernardino and Surigao could rendezvous off Leyte Gulf 
at dawn on October 25. After destroying Kinkaid s covering fleet 
the enemy could then annihilate the helpless American sup- 

ply ships and landing craft that were still at the Leyte landing 
beaches. It was a bold and imaginative plan, but fortunately 
the keen Captain Tarbuck had called the turn, and Kinkaid 
had made the necessary dispositions. 

The two southernmost Japanese forces were discovered on 
the morning of October 24 by American scouting submarines 
and reconnaissance planes, and that same day bombers from 
Halsey s flat-tops, now moving north, did some damage to one 
of the attacking groups known as the ist Attack Force. 

On the night of the 5>4th-25th a small enemy fleet called 
the C Force entered the Surigao Strait below Leyte and in the 
darkness was knocked off balance by a sudden PT and de 
stroyer attack from Rear Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf s force of 
cruisers and old battleships of the Seventh Fleet. Completely 
surprised, the enemy now faced the concentrated radar- 
controlled fire of the American heavy ships, and by dawn the 
Japanese had lost two battleships and three of their four de 
stroyers, and a heavy cruiser was so damaged that it was later 
sunk by carrier planes. History may record that weird mid 
night engagement as the last naval battle between surface 
fleets where the great battlewagons slugged it out. 

A second Japanese naval group, called the snd Attack 
Force, immediately followed C Force into Surigao Strait, but 
when it saw the disaster that had overwhelmed its sister C 
Force, it turned tail and fled. Two of its destroyers were sunk 
in the action, and a crippled light cruiser later was finished 
off by American land-based bombers. The total loss to Kin- 
kaid s Seventh Fleet so far was one destroyer damaged and 
one PT boat sunk. 

At almost the identical hour that the battle of Surigao 
Strait was taking place to the south, the Japanese ist Attack 
Force was quietly steaming eastward through San Bernardino 
Strait to make its great try at the landings in Tacloban Bay 
in Leyte Gulf. Halsey, unaware of the new twin threats, had 
already sent his great fleet north to meet the Japanese naval 
force sent south to decoy him away from the waters where Japan 
would make her desperate efforts to get at the American land 

Despite the loss of the mighty Musashi y the Jap ist Attack 


Force succeeded in passing through the San Bernardino Strait 
which Halsey was supposed to defend with his own swift new 
battleship. His critics point out that while he was fully justi 
fied in sending his great carriers and their escorts on north 
to meet the Japanese force moving southward, he should have 
planted his battlewagons here in San Bernardino Strait 
between lower Luzon and upper Samar. Halsey s air previously 
had trailed this force through the inland seas and bombed it 
heavily. In fact it was largely his crippling of the mighty 
Musashi with her 1 8-inch guns that led him to believe that 
this particular enemy force could no longer sortie into the Pa 
cific through the San Bernardino Strait. 

But Halsey s subsequent move northward opened the San 
Bernardino door into the Pacific to this Japanese ist Attack 
Force, which swiftly passed through the Strait and then 
steamed south along the eastern shore of Samar and headed 
for Leyte Gulf and its deadly rendezvous with the snd At 
tack Force and C Force with the vast American amphibious 
fleet lying helpless between them. This ist Attack Force was 
still completely unaware of the disaster that during the night 
had befallen the two task forces of her sister fleets. 

At daybreak the Japanese commander was first aware that 
he had been rediscovered when American carrier-based recon 
naissance planes and then the small escort carriers themselves 
came into view. It was about all the naval force that Kinkaid 
could muster to oppose this new and terrible threat from the 
north. Fortunately the enemy had no carrier planes, but he 
boldly moved his sturdy surface ships against the out-gunned 

Even though the U. S. escort carriers launched their attack 
planes, the Japanese managed to sink one light carrier and 
two destroyers, and the small American force finally had to 
give way before the withering Japanese fire, including that 
from the new Yamato, with its nine 1 8-inch guns and a range of 
45,000 yards. 

Suddenly the Japanese commander, Admiral Kurita, broke 
off the attack and turned back north toward San Bernardino 
Strait. He had lost three cruisers by air attack, and he was 
aware the Japanese C Force to the south had met disaster. An 

interception of open radio messages in English brought him 
the information that within two hours planes from carrier 
units of Halsey s great fleet to the north, now fully awake to 
the dangerous situation and steaming full speed to help in his 
destruction, would be attacking him. 

Under the protection of darkness Admiral Kurita re-entered 
San Bernardino Strait and sped westward toward the protec 
tion of his home bases. Thanks to Tarbuck s planning and 
Kinkaid s alert seamen the desperate plan to sink Kinkaid s 
fleet piecemeal and then destroy the helpless armada of supply 
ships and landing boats at the beachheads had gone awry. 
But the margin of safety had been a narrow one. 

On to the north off Cape Engano in Luzon, where Halsey 
had been lured by the Japanese Third Fleet, the victory of 
the American carriers over the Japanese had been almost 
complete. In the nine-hour over-the-horizon engagement Hal- 
sey s air sank four carriers almost completely devoid of planes 
one light cruiser and three destroyers. None of Halsey s great 
battlewagons fired a shot, yet only two enemy battleships, two 
light cruisers and six destroyers, all damaged, escaped to the 

MacArthur s post-war reactions as to the respects in which the 
absence of a unified command in the Pacific impaired the ef 
fectiveness of the American operations against the Japanese 
were frank and clear-cut: 

Of all the faulty decisions of the war perhaps the most unex- 
plainable one was the failure to unify the command in the 
Pacific. The principle involved is perhaps the most fundamental 
one in the doctrine and tradition of command. In this instance 
it did not involve an international problem. It was accepted and 
entirely successful in the other great theatres. The failure to do 
so in the Pacific cannot be defended in logic, in theory or even 
in common sense. Other motives must be ascribed. It resulted 
in divided effort, the waste of diffusion and duplication of force 
and the consequent extension of the war with added casualties 
and cost. The generally excellent cooperation between the two 
commands in the Pacific supported by the good will, good nature 



The vital naval battle that saved Leyte Gulf. 

and high professional qualifications of the numerous personnel 
involved, was no substitute for the essential unity of direction of 
centralized authority. The handicaps and hazards unnecessarily 
resulting were numerous indeed, but by way of illustration I 
will elucidate the one which produced the greatest jeopardy. It 
developed in the course of the Leyte landing. 


After Morotai, my next jump was tentatively to seize the islands 
off Davao Bay, to base our air to cover the following objective 
which was Leyte. It was necessary to make this intermediate move 
because of the approximately goo-mile limit of air coverage. Any 
landing had to be within covering distance of our previous bases, 
as it would take time to build or secure new bases and make them 
operative. Until this was done our beachheads were entirely de 
pendent for air protection from the rear bases. This was the 
determining factor in each move of the envelopment the so- 
called "hit- em-where-they-ain t" and "leave- em-die-on-the-vine" 
maneuver. It was based upon the concept of cutting in behind 
the enemy s bastions and severing his supply lines. The high 
command after Morotai expressed the desire to speed up opera 
tions in the belief that Leyte was lightly held, a report somewhat 
confirmed by naval air reconnaissance but which later proved 
not entirely accurate. It was suggested that if I moved direct on 
Leyte, naval air would cover me in landing, and sixteen little 
"flat-tops" would stay to cover the command until we could build 
local air fields and bring forward our own ground air. The hop 
was double the usual distance and violated my basic concept 
never to risk having my ground forces uncovered from ground- 
based air. Under the conditions, however, I decided on the move 

His comment continued in the same reserved and concise 
manner. While he was Commander-in-Chief within his own 
Southwest Pacific theatre, Halsey s Fleet and all naval support 
from the Central and South Pacific areas were distinctly without 
his jurisdiction. He had absolutely no authority over them. 
Once again he was faced with the deadly consequences of a 
divided command. His quoted remarks of the action were made 
eight years after the great battle had ended and any personal 
bitterness had long ago disappeared. He went on: 

I believe this was probably the first time a ground commander 
ever placed his complete trust so absolutely in naval hands. The 
yth Fleet was reinforced with the old battleships and the little 
carriers, and Halsey s fleet containing the new battleships and 
big carriers under Nimitz s command was ordered to operate in 
the same general waters to the north. I was on the cruiser Nash 
ville accompanying our convoys. It early became evident to me 


that Halsey was too far to the north to properly cover the Gulf 
of Leyte, and I so radioed Nimitz asking him to drop Halsey 
back. This would not only insure my base but would insure that 
Ms fleet being in the action as the magnetic attraction of my 
point of landing would draw the enemy s fleet there. Three times 
as I remember I sent such dispatches but without result. Nimitz 
repeated to Halsey apparently without getting through and then 
finally authorized me to communicate directly with Halsey but 
it was then too late. In the meantime, the enemy s forces acted 
with great skill and cunning. A decoy drew Halsey further to 
the north, the Japanese attacked from the south in the Mindanao 
Sea and drew our battleships and cruisers there to match his 
force and then, evading our air reconnaissance, came through 
the San Bernardino Straits and moved on our base and rear 
naval echelons in the Bay of Tacloban. 

Probably two hundred or more vessels were there exposed. 
We instantly threw in our little flat-tops which gallantly and 
successfully repulsed the attacking Japanese force. In doing so, 
however, the planes were practically destroyed and my potential 
air umbrella to protect my ground forces and operations disap 
peared. For the following month I was thereby in gravest danger, 
as the Japanese under General Yamashita regarded this as the 
crucial point of action. Actually, with the failure to hold the 
so-called "Yamashita Line," which collapsed with our Ormoc 
envelopment, the Emperor afterward told me, the Japanese ad 
mitted defeat and all their efforts were to accomplish an end 
without internal explosion. Leyte came out all right but the 
hazards would all have been avoided by unity of command. 

Early in the afternoon of Leyte s D-Day, October 20, General 
MacArthur with President Osinena and Brigadier General 
Carlos Romulo, Generals Krueger, Sutherland, Kenney and a 
little group climbed down from the cruiser Nashville to a land 
ing barge and in the choppy sea headed for the beaches. It 
was the hour MacArthur had been dreaming of for two years, 
seven months and three days. 

That afternoon he hurriedly issued a proclamation and 
48 hours later, when the ist Cavalry Division captured Tac 
loban, he broadcast the words written out under deep emo- 

these historic islands. The proclamation read: 

To the People of the Philippines: 

I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God our forces stand 
again on Philippine soil soil consecrated by the blood of our 
two peoples. We have come, dedicated and committed, to the task 
of destroying every vestige of enemy control over your daily lives, 
and of restoring, upon a foundation of your indestructible 
strength, the liberties of your people. 

At my side is your President Sergio Osmeiia, worthy successor 
of that great patriot, Manuel Quez6n, with members of his 
cabinet. The seat of your government is now therefore firmly 
reestablished on Philippine soil. 

The hour of your redemption is here. Your patriots have dem 
onstrated an unswerving and resolute devotion to the principles 
of freedom that challenges the best that is written on the pages 
of human history. I now call upon your supreme effort that the 
enemy may know from the temper of an aroused and outraged 
people within, that he has a force there to contend with, no less 
violent than is the force committed from without. 

Rally to me! Let the indomitable spirit of Bataan and Cor- 
regidor lead on. As the lines of battle roll forward to bring you 
within the zone of operations, rise and strike! Strike at every 
favorable opportunity. For your homes and hearths, strike! For 
future generations of your sons and daughters, strike. In the 
name of your sacred dead, strike. Let no heart be faint. Let every 
arm be steeled. The guidance of divine God points the way. 
Follow in His name to the Holy Grail of righteous victory. 

Time gives a certain unreality to the old-fashioned elo 
quence, but General MacArthur knew the deeply religious na 
ture of the people he was addressing and what this day of 
national redemption meant to them. 

For the first ten days or two weeks of the Leyte campaign, the 
24th, g6th and 7th Infantry Divisions and the ist Cavalry 
Division met no heavy opposition, and by November 7 they 
had reached the mountains and rugged hills that skirted the 
eastern fringe of the Central Leyte Valley. The Japanese High 


Command had rushed parts of two divisions from Mindanao, 
Cebu and Panay, and it was evident that they intended to 
make the defense of Leyte the decisive action of the Philip 
pine defense. 

The unusual rainy weather persisted, and until well into 
November the only usable airfield was the one near Tacloban. 
Hardly more than a score of Kenney s fighters could operate 
from it at a time. 

The great carriers of Vice Admiral John S. McCain s Task 
Force 38 of Halsey s Third Fleet continued now and again 
to blast at Manila and Luzon bases, while Kinkaid s little es 
cort carriers gave some air protection nearer at home. Then 
suddenly a new and deadly menace presented itself the Japa 
nese suicide plane. Never before had it been tried out as a 
distinct and formal tactical weapon. During November alone 
150 kamakaze sorties were flown, and serious damage was done 
to several American ships. It disclosed the desperate nature of 
Japanese determination and what might be expected in the fu 
ture as American forces neared the Japanese homeland. 

By Christmas General Walter Krueger s dogged Sixth Army 
had control of all the ports and main cities and highways, and 
the following day MacArthur issued a report that the Leyte 
campaign, save for mopping-up operations, could be consid 
ered ended. The task of cleaning up the heavy fortified pock 
ets of Japanese, still in the hills and narrow valleys, was now 
in the capable hands of Lt. General Eichelberger and his re 
cently organized Eighth Army. 

In the two months and six days that had elapsed since 
Krueger s forces landed in Leyte, the enemy s counted dead 
totalled 56,263, the captured 359. The victory cost the Sixth 
Army 2,888 killed, 9,858 wounded and 161 missing. For each 
American casualty the Japanese had paid 4.1/2 men. 

There was still no letup in the mass suicide charges of the 
enemy or in his refusal to surrender until the last man was 
killed. It took several months more for Eichelberger s men to 
finish up the job. G.H.Q. estimated that probably not more 
than 6,000 Japanese were left on the island that Christmas 
Day when the Eighth Army took over. When Eichelberger 
had finished his distasteful job he accounted for 24,294 

counted dead and 4.39 missing Japanese in Leyte and neighbor 
ing Samar alone. His own losses were 432 killed, 22 miss 
ing and 1,852 wounded. 

In mid-February the three divisions of the borrowed XXIV 
Corps were removed from Eighth Army control and sent to 
rest-areas in eastern Leyte, in preparation for the coming Oki 
nawa campaign under the Navy s command. There seemed 
to be no limit to the lavish stores put ashore for their re-fitting. 
The old jungle fighters of the Southwest Pacific had never 
seen such magnificence. From top to bottom the men of the 
visiting divisions were being issued brand-new clothing, 
equipment, guns, cannon, jeeps, trucks and tanks. 

Yet never once in all the history of the Southwest theatre 
had a single full division of MacArthur s forces been com 
pletely re-equipped at one time. Even now the left-behind 
cast-offs of this borrowed XXIV Corps had to be salvaged and 
used to help equip some of the divisions of the new Eighth 
Army for the desperate campaigns that lay ahead. 

Almost ten years later Admiral Ray Tarbuck, the regular 
naval officer long attached to MacArthur s staff, described with 
out the slightest restraint how the Southwest Pacific had suf 
fered from the very beginning of the war from a deliberate 
policy of discrimination by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the 
Navy itself. His account began: 

One word about MacArthur s supplies. We got the minimum 
sustenance for modern war. On trips back to Washington I saw 
P-38s in great numbers on each coast as part of the home inter- 
cepter force. In New Guinea we were fighting Zeros with P-4OS 
that were post-dated. In the 7th Amphibious Force we manu 
factured our own rocket launchers and converted our own LCIs 
to rocket ships. No Navy Yard for us. We made 56 combat am 
phibious landings, all successful, and were without carrier avail 
ability on 45 of them. We had seaborne air support on only 11. 
We got our blankets and mutton from Australia. We not only 
got what Europe couldn t use, but we got the leavings of the 
Trans-Pacific. The Central Pacific Navy had numberless supply 
ships, reefers and tankers, but the yth Fleet rarely saw any, be 
cause some one drew a pencil line on a Pacific chart and said, 
"The Central Pacific Area ends here." The battle between the 
Army and the Navy was almost as tough as the Jap War. 


In a very definite way this statement furnishes at least part 
of the answer to the disturbing question as to why it has so 
often been alleged that General MacArthur failed to capture 
the personal loyalty and affection of many of the men who 
served under him. 

He and his Southwest Pacific were continuously handicapped 
by the designs and studied interferences of Washington, from 
the White House to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was constantly 
forced to pay the price for his opposition to the dreary mis 
takes, the endless jealousies, discriminations and bickerings 
of rival services, administration politicians and unfriendly 
brass. He could do little for the relief and comfort of his sol 
diers and airmen and sailors fighting in the deadly jungles 
and seas of New Guinea and neighboring islands. 

Marines and army personnel attached to the South and 
Central Pacific under the Navy s command had the first and 
often the only call on rest camps, recreational areas, extra sup 
plies, food and relief. Tens of thousands of MacArthur s men 
in the Southwest Pacific actually served as much as 18 months 
without a break in malarial and disease-infected tropical areas 
with no relief, simply because neither the Navy nor the ad 
ministration would grant the ships to transport MacArthur s 
weary and battle-worn troops to pleasant rest areas. Again and 
again the Southwest was at the very tail-end of supply lines 
and relief. 

Homesick, unhappy men, conscious of being by-passed, nat 
urally blamed their commanding general for their neglect. 
MacArthur swiftly became the target of their censure for the 
conscienceless and deliberate restrictions put on him by rival 
services and by the office of the Army s Chief of Staff. 

It was clear to MacArthur that the work of defeating the 
235,000 Japanese soldiers estimated to be on Luzon should be 
assigned to his Sixth Army and its commander Lt. General 
Walter Krueger. Krueger would have the help of part of 
Eichelberger s smart Eighth Army until Manila was captured, 

and then MacArthur would divide the entire Philippine ar 
chipelago into two areas: Luzon would comprise the Northern 
Area, while all the islands to the south would constitute the 
Southern Area and would be placed under Eichelberger. 

The Central Pacific carrier-based planes and the bombard 
ment groups from the American bases on the China mainland, 
along with planes from the South and Southwest Pacific, be 
gan bombing the 70 airfields on Luzon. At the same time there 
were air strikes against enemy fields and bases as far away 
as Formosa and Okinawa and even the Japanese home islands. 
The daring Halsey raided the upper China Sea with his Third 
Fleet, and his carrier-based planes combed the area for tar 

MacArthur still was not satisfied until every enemy air as 
sault potential was covered. Less than 200 miles southwest of 
Manila and a little west of southern Luzon lay the island of 
Mindoro. MacArthur now ordered this island seized and air 
fields quickly constructed that could give him additional air 
coverage in his final attack on Luzon. 

Within MacArthur s own staff there was almost unanimous 
agreement in favor of postponing the attack date of Janu 
ary 9, 1945, which had been set for the initial landings on 
Lingayen Gulf, no miles to the north of Manila. MacArthur 
would not agree. Nor would he be swerved by a Navy demand 
that the invasion route be up the east coast of Luzon, around 
its northern tip and then down its western shores to Lingayen 
Gulf. The shorter way was south from Leyte Gulf through 
Surigao Strait and across the inland Philippine seas to the South 
China Sea. Then the route lay straight north to the invasion 
beaches of Lingayen Gulf. Since Halsey refused to risk the 
ships of his great Third Fleet in the dangerous coastal waters, 
MacArthur would now have to undertake this without any pro 
tective help from the Central Pacific Fleet. He would be on 
his own. 

Once MacArthur s seaborne forces reached the landing 
beaches in Lingayen Gulf, then Halsey s great Third Fleet 
would guard them against any sea or air force attacking from 
the north, but his would still be an independent command, 
operating completely outside MacArthur s authority. 


On December 15 MacArthur was made a 5-8 tar general of the 
army, along with Marshall, Eisenhower and Arnold. Marshall s 
appointment was first by a matter of hours and carried sen 
iority, and MacArthur ranked second in the top level grade. 
At the same time Admirals Leahy, King and Nimitz were made 
admirals of the fleet. 

In no way did this settle the old and bitter controversy 
over unity of command in the Pacific, nor did it lessen the 
steady and determined opposition to MacArthur in Washing 
ton. He was definitely an outsider, denied the full knowledge 
of the secret settlements that had been made or were about to 
be made among Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin in the series 
of global conferences. To only one, Cairo, was the stubborn 
and valiant fighter-leader Chiang Kai-shek asked to attend. 
MacArthur was not even invited to this Cairo meeting, where 
vital decisions regarding China and the Pacific were discussed. 
It had seemed fit, however, to ask the possibly overrated 
Lord Mountbatten to fly in from the Burma campaign in 
which he was hopelessly floundering. 

The war against Hitler was obviously about to end. From 
early in 1940 fear and hate of the Nazi had absorbed most of 
the attention of the Roosevelt administration, and by 1943, 
when victory was almost certain, the dangerous desire for re 
venge on Germany began to blur the picture of a firm and 
lasting peace. 

From now on hate and revenge dominated the final actions 
of both Roosevelt and Churchill. Their struggle for complete 
war victory apparently had used up their energies, so that 
they had little heart or imagination left to see to it that their 
war success was translated into lasting peace. 

MacArthur, fighting his brilliant campaigns at the other side 
of the world, was left out of the inner circle and confined to 
concern for swift Philippine liberation and to his belief in the 
significance of the Western Pacific in the long years ahead. 
Shortly before he was made a general of the army he talked 
off the record to a group of correspondents who gathered 

on the porch of the former Japanese Club at Tacloban, Leyte, 
which he had taken over as his quarters. He was seriously wor 
ried over the deterioration of the Chinese situation and over 
the general failure of Washington to understand the great im 
portance of the Pacific in the long view. He felt that neg 
lecting the war against Japan in favor of the demand that 
Germany first be utterly crushed was a tragic mistake. 

He explained to his listeners his belief that much of the 
future destiny of the human race lay in the lands adjoining 
the Pacific. "The history of the world for the next thou 
sand years will be written in the Pacific," he prophesied. 

Japan, he was sure, had long understood this, and it had be 
come the logical basis for her doctrine before the war of the 
Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Japan had seen that if she 
could establish domination over China, she was in a good po 
sition to control the Eastern world. 

He pointed out that from his point of view Stalin, too, 
clearly saw the historic importance of the Pacific, and even 
while the Red dictator fought so desperately for survival in 
Europe, he was actually looking over his shoulder toward 
Asia. If Chiang Kai-shek was to be crushed, MacArthur 
argued that China would be thrown into confusion and her 
existence as a nation of the free world imperiled. 

Communist Russia, he insisted, would sooner or later try 
to reverse the results of the Russo-Japanese War of 1964-5. 
She still dreamed of recovering Port Arthur, thus securing a 
warm-water port into the Pacific, and, as well, regaining her 
lost toe-hold in Manchuria. 

It was several weeks before the Yalta Agreement, with its 
secret clauses, was signed. Months would slip by before Mac- 
Arthur was told the details of the bargain Stalin made at 
Yalta, when the Russian dictator agreed to become a member 
of the planned United Nations and enter the war against Ja 
pan within three months after a victory over Hitler. For these 
doubtful pledges Roosevelt and his advisors, with Churchill s 
consent, promised the Communist leader the recovery of all 
that the Czar had lost in Manchuria 40 years before, It was 
fondly hoped that Chiang Kai-shek could be forced to accept 


this Roosevelt-Churchill bartering of his own lands for the re 
covery of which he had been fighting the Japanese for seven 
straight years. 

Since his first voyage of discovery into India and the Far 
East in 1905-6, MacArthur realized that some day destiny 
would force America to take her rightful place in the vast 
struggle for power that was slowly developing in the Western 
Pacific. He had never for a day forgotten the prophecy of 
the brilliant young Senator Beveridge: "The power that rules 
the Pacific ... is the power that rules the world/ 

MacArthur knew, too, that to the modern Kremlin mind a 
Russian-dominated Communist China was of supreme impor 
tance in her plan to absorb all Asia into her Red sphere. It 
had long been a Moscow theory that the shortest road to Paris 
and London ran through Peiping and Delhi. 



The very act of setting foot on the shores of Leyte on October 
20, 1944, fulfilled MacArthur s vow, "I shall return." But he 
still looked forward to the moment when he could announce 
to the world that he had wiped out the American humiliation 
of Bataan and Corregidor, and that Manila with its thousands 
of starving prisoners was liberated. 

It was almost two and a half years since he had first taken 
the offensive in the green and deadly swamps and jungles pro 
tecting the tiny Japanese strongholds of Buna and Gona on the 
upper coast of the Papuan end of New Guinea. Then he had 

had little compared with his present three-dimensional force, 
now poised to spring on the great prize of Luzon. In a way it 
was the last of the mighty roadblocks barring his way north 
ward to the home islands of Japan. He believed implicitly 
that Luzon was the key to the ultimate defeat of Japan. 

With few exceptions the senior members of his staff were 
the same men who checked and then turned back the Japanese 
from their southern drive toward Australia, thus protecting 
the lines of communication with America. Kenney, with his 
5th Air Force, and Kinkaid with his enlarged Seventh Fleet 
were still his strong right and left arms. His experienced and 
ample Sixth Army remained under the same tough old Walter 
Krueger, who drove his own staff like a Prussian army group 
commander. MacArthur s new Eighth Army had the decidedly 
more versatile Bob Eichelberger as its inspirational spear 

But competent as were the planners at G.H.Q. and on the 
staffs of his two armies and the sea and air forces, it was the 
Old Man himself who really initiated the course of the stra 
tegic moves and passed on them during their various stages of 
development. The chief of staff at G.H.Q., for instance, 
might order certain future plans drawn up and presented to 
the Commander-in-Chief. MacArthur would listen quietly 
while the presentation was being made on the map. Then 
with uncanny skill he would point out the weak points. At 
times he would even demand an entirely new objective, be 
cause the one suggested might prove too costly in human lives. 

Always he completely dominated the situation. The imagina 
tive and tireless George Kenney had "more ideas than a dog 
has fleas" as some ardent member of the staff said and he 
sold many of them to his Chief. But the final decision with 
its priceless element of split-second timing and the perfection 
and precision of the entire operation always bore the personal 
hallmark of MacArthur. 

Above all else was his intense aversion to frontal attacks, and 
his determination to save the lives of his own forces. Always he 
would find another way out when he was convinced that a 
given operation would cost more casualties than seemed abso 
lutely necessary. 


The series of naval battles that were fought to protect 
the supply fleet in Leyte Bay on the fourth and fifth days after 
the initial landings there, had destroyed the last of the real 
striking power of the Japanese Navy. In order to assist in the 
planning of the Luzon campaign for early January of 1945, 
Nimitz willingly flew to Leyte for a conference and assured 
MacArthur that Halsey s roving Third Fleet would clean out 
the South China Sea and thus eliminate all fear of an enemy sea 
force barging into his delicate landing operations at Lingayen 
Gulf. MacArthur now needed only the same guarantee regard 
ing enemy air attacks. 

During the final three months of 1944, while the air pre 
liminaries and the subsequent heavy fighting were going on in 
Leyte, most of the enemy air potential in the Philippines had 
been destroyed. A total of 120 scattered air bases had suf 
fered the full treatment, including 70 bases on Luzon alone. 
With January 9 set by MacArthur as D-Day although actually 
called S-Day, and J-hour for this particular operation there 
came a plastering of enemy air that blanketed every known 
drome for roughly 1,000 miles in all directions. 

Although Kenney was never to have a single B-sg under 
him, the new XXI Bomber Command sent its Superfortresses 
from Saipan and the other fields in the Marianas to the Japa 
nese home islands; the combined China-based XX Bomber 
Command and the Fourteenth Air Force pounded at targets 
in Formosa and along the China coast; and Kenney s newly 
organized Far East air forces smothered local Philippine and 
Dutch East Indies targets. MacArthur s precaution to establish 
air fields in Mindoro, 200 miles southwest of Manila, helped 
to neutralize the fields on Luzon and to protect the invasion 
fleets as they moved through the dangerous inland sea and pas 
sageways to Lingayen Gulf. 

MacArthur s over-all strategic plan for the conquest of 
Luzon appears simple in the telling. For weeks before the ac 
tual landings the airfields on the long, narrow island were 
methodically bombed, and beginning January i, 1945, decep 
tive measures were initiated against fake landing spots in the 
Bicol and Batangas areas of lower Luzon. Channels and harbors 
were swept of mines, and deceptive preliminary landing oper- 

ations were started. There were even dummy parachute drops, 
and every evidence was planted for an invasion o lower Lu 

The advance warships of the Luzon attack force left their 
anchorage in Leyte Gulf on January 2. As the fleet made its 
way through the dangerous narrow waters, the enemy brought 
out his hidden aircraft and Cebu-based submarines and at 
tacked. A suicide plane sank an escort carrier, and much dam- 
mage was done to a number of vessels. Admiral "Uncle Dan" 
Barbey s escort sank a Japanese destroyer which attacked out 
of Manila Bay as the convoy passed Corregidor. On January 6 
advance elements of the fleet reached Lingayen Gulf, harassed 
constantly by reckless air attacks of the enemy. MacArthur was 
urged to postpone the landings scheduled for the gth, but his 
answer was to request Halsey s big carriers to help with the 
neutralization of the Luzon airfields. It was a touch-and-go 
decision he had to make. 

The Japanese apparently had shot their bolt, and by Janu 
ary 8 the air offensive was limited to a few suicide missions. 
American warships and planes could now concentrate on the 
shore bombardment, in preparation for the actual landings 
the following day. All but 3 of the 30 American vessels put out 
of commission were sunk or damaged by suicide planes. 

At 7:00 in the morning of January 9 the fire-support ships 
opened up on the Lingayen landing beaches, and then the na 
val gunfire lifted to the enemy targets in the rear. At 9:30, 
when the first assault waves hit the beaches, they were met by 
little opposition, save against the 43rd Division, which landed at 
the northern end of invasion shore line. Amphtracs rapidly 
pushed inland across rice paddies, fish ponds and swamps. Men, 
ammunition, bulldozers, artillery and supplies of every kind 
poured out on the beaches, and by nightfall 68,000 troops from 
the 6th and 43rd Divisions of Swift s I Corps and from the 
4oth and 37th Divisions of Griswold s XIV Corps were planted 
on a quarter-moon-shaped beachhead, 17 miles long and 
4 miles deep. 

The Central Plain of Luzon, with Lingayen Gulf at its 
northern end, runs southeastward between rugged mountain 
chains for a little more than a hundred miles. The plain is 30 


or 40 miles wide; about 15 miles above Manila it is pinched 
off into a bottleneck between swamps, then widens out again 
as it approaches the capital city. 

The rugged Caraballo mountains form the northeastern edge 
of this wide valley, and further on these stubborn mountains 
lose themselves in the great Sierra Madre range, which runs 
along the east side of the broad plain and extends south far be 
low Manila. To the west lie the Zambales mountains, with 
Fort Stotsenburg and Clark Field nestling in the foothills, half 
way down from Lingayen Gulf. 

MacArthur s general plan was to drive swiftly down this 
Central Plain, and at the same time push the enemy back 
into the mountains to the northeast and on both east and 
west flanks. General Yamashita, thrown off balance and handi 
capped by the loss of his air, had chosen not to oppose the 
American landings on the beaches, although he had nearby a 
force of 36,000 men that could have counterattacked during 
the confusion of that first evening. By the time he realized 
the weight of the American forces, which on the initial day 
advanced 4 miles inland from the beaches and were occupying 
well-placed and powerful defensive positions, it was too late 
for him to re-organize his plans. 

MacArthur came ashore early on the morning of the land 
ings and after spending most of the day on the beaches, re 
turned to his cruiser for the night. The following day, while 
Krtieger s men drove down the Central Valley and against the 
Japanese pockets close to the mountains, MacArthur located 
his advance headquarters in an abandoned schoolhouse in the 
village of Santa Barbara. 

From the start there was heavy fighting directly north of the 
beachhead, and to the east and northeast formidable cave de 
fense-systems were encountered. General I. P. Swift, I Corps 
commander, immediately had his Corps reserve brought ashore, 
and the 25th Division belonging to the reserve of Griswold s 
XIV Corps also was landed in Swift s zone. 

To the right or west of the Central Valley, Griswold s XIV 
Corps was meeting much less opposition. Quickly it seized the 
airfields outside the town of Lingayen, then crossed the Agno 
river and drove on south along the slopes of the Zambales 

mountains. Within ten days after landing, the 4Oth Division 
had pushed more than 50 miles to the southward, and the 37th 
Division, on its left, had advanced in line. 

In the meanwhile Swift s I Corps was encountering the stiff- 
est sort o fighting as it drove eastward and northeastward 
against the line of Japanese caves and dugouts in the foothills 
of the Caraballos. It was evident that the Japanese were fight 
ing a purely defensive war, and that they would not com 
promise on their old no-surrender suicide tactics. With 
communication tunnels dug between their hillside caves and 
deep trenches, and with ample supplies of ammunition and 
food, they were fighting the type of war that best suited their 
fanatical bravery. 

At dawn each day MacArthur and one or two of his staff 
would take off in an ordinary jeep to the spot where some ad 
vancing American unit was being held up. His headquarters in 
the schoolhouse at Santa Barbara was tentative. Actual plans 
for the running battles were drawn at the headquarters of 
Krueger s Sixth Army, and while MacArthur did not care to 
interfere in the tactical orders, he could not contain his restless 
insistence that the tempo of the attacks be increased. 

There was no pity in his heart for this enemy who had 
slaughtered his men on the Bataan death march, had broken 
every rule of modern war and had committed tens of thou 
sands of atrocities. He was ruthless and calculating, but com 
passionate and careful for his own people. He wanted from his 
commanders neither excuses nor heavy casualty lists. Count 
the enemy dead and give him the figures! 

Krueger, experienced soldier as he was, often exasperated 
MacArthur with his overcaution. Constantly the Sixth Army 
commander protested that he must not neglect his flanks or 
overextend his lines of communication. He must take no 
chances. He must play it safe. 

But it was not overcaution that MacArthur wanted. What 
he demanded now was speed, attack, surprise, power, daring, 
valor and all tied into as much air support as Kenney could 
give him. He had the enemy off balance, and he proposed to 
keep him that way. 

The wars he had fought or had studied until they were al- 


most a part of his being now gave him a sense of battle 
conflict so sound and secure that it bordered on intuition. An 
intense sense of reality seemed to join with a sixth sense in a 
dynamic will-to-win that could not fail to inspire the com 
manders who came under the intensity of his leadership. The 
very sight of the calm figure, quietly encouraging and directing 
the actual leaders in the field, somehow counterbalanced Krue- 
ger s discretion and demand for more caution and security. 

A bombed and abandoned sugar central was located a few 
miles from Clark Field, now within the American lines. Here, 
at Hacienda Lucita, MacArthur established his temporary head 
quarters. Krueger s Sixth Army H.Q. lay thirty miles or so 
behind him. 

Several times previously he had quietly urged Krueger to 
drive harder and move faster. Finally he sent the message by 
one of his most trusted staff officers, explaining to him that if 
he, MacArthur, personally went again he was certain he would 
finally lose his temper and relieve this old comrade, who shared 
his birthday and was but a year his junior in age. He could not 
quite do that. But he could send word to his plans and opera 
tions officer to turn up the tempo. 

[When MacArthur was questioned years later how soon 
after the Lingayen landing he had hoped to secure the Central 
Plain and the Manila Bay area, he answered: 

There was no fixed timetable. I hoped to proceed as rapidly 
as possible especially as time was an element connected with the 
release of our prisoners. I have always felt, however, that to en 
deavor to formulate in advance details of a campaign is hazardous 
as it tends to warp the judgment of a commander when faced 
with unexpected conditions brought about by the uncertainties 
of enemy reaction or initiative. I therefore never attempted fixed 
dates for anything but the start of operations. The rate of prog 
ress in this operation was fast and more than fulfilled all hopes 
and expectations. The only place the enemy could hope to 
counterattack successfully, except locally on the battle line, was 
at Lingayen itself to cut my line of supply. My beachhead and 
harbor base were exposed to attack from Formosa and the north. 
The yth Fleet had been reinforced from the Central Pacific by 
battle ships with accessories and as long as these defended the 

Lingayen roadsteads my naval supply line was secure. Admiral 
Nimitz was preparing for the Okinawa attack, however, and 
felt these ships must be recalled as soon as possible. I then threw 
the XI Corps, under General Hall, by sea to the Zambales Coast 
so that if Lingayen in its weakened naval state became jeopard 
ized I could shift my supply line to a more secure geographical 
position. The movement also placed Hall s forces so as to threaten 
the flank of the enemy s main line of resistance in the Manila 
Plains. No counterattack developed and the enemy s resistance 
in the Plains rapidly crumbled when I enveloped the other flank 
with the ist Cavalry Division.] 

Never for a day since he came ashore had his mind been free 
from thoughts of the half-starving and mistreated American 
prisoners of war who had served under him on Bataan and Cor- 
regidor. The Filipinos who survived the death march had been 
paroled, but there had been no such mercy for the Americans. 
MacArthur had always felt that these men, with the civilian 
American internees, were his special charge. Their rescue lay 
like a heavy weight on his heart. 

His plan to enter Manila in some swift and almost reckless 
drive was based on the certain knowledge that only by sur 
prise and great valor could the 3,500 American men, women 
and children at Santo Toms and another 1,000 held in Bilibid 
prison, be saved from some horrible death. The same assump 
tion was true for a half-thousand American and Allied prison 
ers of war held in a camp in the western foothills of the Sierra 
Madre mountains at Pangatian, a few miles northeast of Ca- 
banatuan. It was at Cabanatuan that the north-south Highway 
5 crossed the Pampanga river, half-way down the eastern side 
of the great central valley. This was all Japanese-held coun 
try, and only a wild and daring raid had the slightest chance 
of succeeding. 

MacArthur gave his approval to a bold rescue plan which was 
evolved around the capture of this Pangatian camp. A force of 
134 picked men from the highly trained 6th Ranger Battalion 
was chosen to carry out the desperate mission. Well-supported 
by tough Filipino guerilla fighters, the little group worked its 


way through the enemy territory and shortly after dark 
reached the prison camp and launched its surprise attack. The 
guards and some 200 enemy troops were killed, at a loss of 
only 2 Americans killed and 10 men wounded. Swiftly the 
486 American prisoners and their 36 Allied comrades were 
brought together and all through that night the sick and ema 
ciated men were helped back to liberated territory. At day 
break on January 31 they were met by Americans in jeeps and 
hurried on to the town of Guimba, where they were received 
with open arms and given hot food and medical care. 

Early that morning MacArthur went among them, gripping 
their hands, patting their shoulders, calling a number of them 
by their first names and assuring them all that their worries 
were over. 

The next mercy mission now became foremost in his mind. 

The ist Cavalry Division came ashore January 27, exactly 17 
days after the first troops hit the beaches on Lingayen Gulf. 
The division s original commander, Major General Swift, now 
had I Corps, and its present C. O. was Major General Verne 
Mudge, a fearless and experienced leader. 

Two days after its landing MacArthur jeeped to Guimba to 
talk over with Mudge the idea of cutting loose a flying column 
from his division and sending it hell-for-leather the 100 miles 
south to Santo Tomds University in Manila, in the hope that 
by the very daring of the wild drive he might rescue the 3,500 
American internees there. Mudge was enthusiastic. 

MacArthur carefully gave his final instructions. Mudge 
would be racing through enemy country, but he must disre 
gard his own flanks and rely on speed and surprise. He was to 
engage in no unnecessary fights and to permit no delays that 
could possibly be avoided. Air attack squadrons from the 24th 
and 32nd Marine Air Groups, especially trained in close sup 
port of ground units, would help protect his flanks and provide 
reconnaissance. The rest of the division would follow the 
speeding column as fast as it could drive through. No matter 

what happened, the mercy mission would be sustained, and the 
entire Sixth Army would stand by if necessary. 

"Get to Manila!" MacArthur concluded. "Go around the 
Japs, bounce off the Japs, but get to Manila! Free the internees 
at Santo Tomds! Take Malacanan and the Legislative Build 

Mudge grimly saluted and pledged that he would not sleep 
until he entered Manila, He would start at midnight this very 
night, February i. To spearhead the loo-mile drive he chose 
what amounted to two composite squadrons that included 
troopers of field artillery, tank and medical units and a third 
outfit consisting of two tank companies and a reconnaissance 
troop. They were designated as ist, snd and 3rd serials. Men, 
weapons, ammunition, water and four days rations, with extra 
gas drums, were loaded for the headlong dash that would have 
delighted the fighting heart of Rommel. Mudge put Brigadier 
General Chase in direct charge of the flying column and re 
lieved him of his divisional responsibilities. 

In the darkness the three columns started across rice paddies, 
plowed fields and broken country toward Cabanatuan. Before 
daylight 5th Cavalry troopers under Lieutenant Colonel Wil 
liam E. Lob it waded and swam the Pampanga river and cap 
tured the Valdefuente bridge at the very moment the enemy 
was preparing its destruction. Major General Mudge person 
ally picked up a handful of troopers and dashed for a cache of 
3,000 pounds of dynamite that had been placed on the structure 
to be detonated by mortar shells. Under fire and with only a 
split-second to spare, Mudge and his men dumped the dyna 
mite in the river and saved the bridge. This sort of reckless 
valor showed itself in scores of incidents. 

Late that second afternoon MacArthur visited a squadron of 
the 5th Cavalry that was halted by a broken bridge just north 
of Angat below Bulacan. He had faith now that the great 
gamble would pay off. 

By midnight, 48 hours after the columns had set out on their 
magnificent adventure, they had reached a point only 15 miles 
from their goal. There was little sleep or rest. The three col 
umns often fought individual battles, and they lunged down 


steep embankments and across streams and around roadblocks 
in the face of murderous fire. 

By 6:30 on the evening of the third day, the leading ele 
ments of the flying column crossed the city line. Luck rode in 
the forward trucks of this serial of the 8th Cavalry, as they 
rolled by the Chinese Cemetery, two miles within Manila lim 
its. Lt. Colonel Haskett L. Connor, Jr., alert and suspicious, 
picked up two Filipinos who formerly had been with the Phil 
ippine Scouts of the American Army. Darkness had set 
tled down, but they offered to show the way to the gates of 
Santo Tomds. 

At 8:30 this night of February 3 a light tank, the Battling 
Basic, belonging to the 44th Tank Battalion, crashed through 
the front gate of the University compound. All lights within 
the walls had been ordered out, and Japanese guards were fir 
ing from their prepared stations. 

In a matter of minutes the rest of the American column 
pushed inside, overwhelming and killing most of the guards. 
Only one group of 63 Japanese soldiers, barricaded in the 
well-built Education Building along with 267 American in 
ternees held as hostages, escaped the avenging fire. At dawn 
on the 5th they were permitted to march out with their weap 
ons, after it had been made certain their hostages were un 

Late on that afternoon previous to the rescue, an American 
plane buzzed the prison camp, and a number of the internees 
saw something drop from the cockpit. Quickly the object 
was retrieved; it was a pair of aviator s goggles attached to a 
note that read: "Roll out the barrel. Santa Glaus will be com 
ing Sunday or Monday. " 

It was around 8:30 Sunday night when he actually got there. 

It was time now for MacArthur to begin his great double-en 
velopment movement which would extend its steel arms 
around the entire southwestern quarter of Luzon and close the 
trap on Bataan, Manila Bay and Batangas. Thousands of Ya- 

mashita s confused troops would be crushed to death in the sur 
prise sweeps. 

The days immediately before Verne Mudge led his flying 
column down Highway 5 in its dash for Santo Tomds, Major 
General Charles P. Hall s XI Corps made surprise landings on 
the west coast above Subic Bay, and in the northwestern cor 
ner of Bataan peninsula. The next day the one-time American 
naval base of Olongapo fell unopposed to the Americans. The 
swiftly moving columns now started their drives eastward 
across the twisting dirt trails and enemy roadblocks, to cut off 
Bataan from the Zambales mountains and deny it to the be 
wildered Japanese. A few days later the i5ist Regimental 
Combat Team boarded a swift convoy, which slipped out of 
Subic Bay and landed at Mariveles on the lower shore of Ba 
taan, only three miles from the grim rock of Corregidor in the 
mouth of Manila Bay. 

One battalion drove on around the lower point of Bataan, 
then straight up the road along the eastern shore. Three days 
later it joined up at Limay with the ist Regimental Combat 
Team of the 6th Division, which had broken through from the 
Central Valley and had then rapidly driven down the east 
coast of Bataan. The double envelopment of the woods and 
battlegrounds of the peninsula was now complete. Bataan had 
fallen 20 days from the time General Hall s forces first 
stepped ashore at Subic Bay, and then turned eastward to seal 
off the northern entrances into the escape haven. 

That same day when the enveloping forces met at Limay on 
the Manila Bay side, MacArthur paid his tribute to the men, 
Americans and Filipinos alike, who had fought and died here. 
There was a ring to his words as he referred to the long-ago 
days when his troops had been starved and neglected: 

Bataan, with Corregidor the citadel of its integral defense, 
made possible all that has happened since. History, I am sure, 
will record it as one of the decisive battles of the world. Its long 
protracted struggle enabled the united nations to gather strength 
to resist in the Pacific. Had it not held out Australia would have 
fallen with incalculable disastrous results. 

Our triumphs of today belong equally to that dead army. Its 


heroism and sacrifice have been fully acclaimed but the great 
strategic results of that mighty defense are only becoming fully 
apparent. The Bataan garrison was destroyed due to its dread 
ful handicaps, but no army in history more thoroughly accom 
plished its mission. Let no man henceforth speak of it other than 
as of magnificent victory. 

But there still remained one savage task that was possibly 
even closer to MacArthur s heart than had been this recovery 
of Bataan. Corregidor must be retaken, but there must be no 
reckless expenditures of American life. He studied the plans 
for its envelopment until he was satisfied. 

A single battalion of the isist Regimental Combat Team 
boarded landing craft at Mariveles, crossed the three miles of 
open water and fought its way to a beachhead on the lower tip 
of the Rock. For three weeks Kenney had been giving Corregi 
dor almost around-the-clock bombing, and two hours before 
the sea landing was made the 5o$jrd Parachute Regimental 
Combat Team was flown up from Mindoro and dropped on the 
topside of the once great fortress. Late that afternoon the two 
invading American outfits joined up, and by dawn the island 
was split into halves. 

The garrison, confused and half-senseless from the terrible 
bombings and the three-day naval bombardments, took to their 
mortar pits and tunnels, and fought on until all but 19 of the 
4,516 defenders were killed. It took eleven days and a total of 
209 American dead, 19 missing and 725 wounded to wipe out 
the bitter score of Corregidor. 

Three days later MacArthur crossed from Manila to the 
Rock. It seemed almost a religious rite to him. No other spot 
in the world held such bitter and lasting memories. The 
group that accompanied him, sensing his emotion, drew back, 
and he stood alone gazing into the black and unspeakable char- 
nelhouse that had been the Middle Tunnel. It had held the 
hospital and storerooms and bomb shelters and his own G.H.Q. 
In those long-ago days it withstood a half-hundred bombings 
and weeks of heavy shell fire. Here he had been forced to suf 
fer the anguish and humiliation of leaving his doomed com 

A little later that day he attended the brief ceremonies that 

formally marked the return to the historic Rock. Finally he 
addressed the 34-year-old Colonel George Madison Jones, West 
Point 35, whose paratroopers had fought so valiantly along 
side their comrades of the infantry battalion that had landed 
on the beachhead. The stream of his emotion was running deep: 

Colonel Jones: 

The capture of Corregidor is one of the most brilliant opera 
tions in military history. Outnumbered two to one, your com 
mand by its unfaltering courage, its invincible determination 
and its professional skill, overcame all obstacles and annihilated 
the enemy. I have cited to the order of the day all units involved, 
and I take great pride in awarding you as their commander the 
Distinguished Service Cross as a symbol of the fortitude, the de 
votion and the bravery with which you have fought. 

I see the old flagpole still stands. Have your troops hoist the 
colors to its peak, and let no enemy ever haul them down. 

This classic seizing of Bataan and Corregidor and the clearing 
of the entrance to Manila Bay had all been part of the great 
upper arm of the enveloping movement whose ultimate mis 
sion was the liberation of southern Luzon. Meanwhile a second 
arm to the south under Lt. General Eichelberger drove deep 
into the heart of Batangas province from a beachhead at Na- 
sugbu, 70 miles southwest of Manila. The brilliant nth Air 
borne Division advanced 19 miles on foot in the first 28 hours 
after it hit the beaches. Ahead of them now rose the high Ta- 
gaytau ridge. It blocked the way on to the north and the back 
door to Manila. 

Eichelberger ordered the entire 5iith Regimental Team, 
comprising three parachute battalions and a winged artillery 
battalion, to board their air transports at Mindoro Island be 
low and to take off. The drop was perfect, and almost as if by 
magic Eichelberger now possessed the 2,4go-foot ridge that 
commanded the country around it. Far to the north could be 
seen the roofs of Manila faintly shimmering in the bright 
afternoon sun. The swiftness and surprise of the moves had 


left the Japanese defenders of the strategic heights helpless and 

Eichelberger loaded his paratroopers in trucks and pushed 
on. Toward evening he ran into heavy fighting at the river 
crossing at Imus, but nothing apparently could check for long 
the momentum of his advance. That night he and his troops 
caught an hour or two of sleep in Paranaque, the entrance gate 
to Manila. Here he faced 12,500 Japanese marines guarding 
this southern passageway stretching between Manila Bay and 
Fort McKmley. Within four days after his initial landings, he 
had driven a wedge 69 miles straight into northwestern Ba- 
tangas. Finally its fine cutting edge was blunted and turned by 
an entrenched enemy that knew how to die but not how to 

Eichelberger had missed out on the big prize of Manila, but 
he had done his level best. 

Meanwhile, on the night of February 3, when the special 
squadron of the 8th Cavalry drove its steel mounts into Santo 
Tomds concentration camp on the north side of Manila, Troop 
F was detached from the leading column for a daring attempt 
to capture Malacanan Palace on the Pasig river. It succeeded 
in taking almost unscathed the beautiful old Spanish dwelling 
where General Arthur MacArthur had lived in 1901-2 when 
he was the first military governor of the Philippines. There 
were several counterattacks by Japanese during the night, but 
the troopers held on. 

The following day the advance columns of the U. S. gyth 
Division fought their way to Bilibid prison, where they liber 
ated 1,000 American prisoners and internees. Soon afterward 
elements of both divisions crossed the Pasig in their joint mis 
sion of enveloping the city. By the nth of the month they 
had swung to the southwest through the outskirts and reached 
Manila Bay on ahead. One brigade of the ist Cavalry fought 
its way to Fort McKmley, then turned east to engage the en 
emy in their caves and connecting dugouts in the Sierra Ma- 

MacArthur hoped that the beautiful city of Manila might be 
won without being destroyed, but it was not to be. The Jap- 

anese had fortified public buildings and residences which were 
well located for tactical defense. Guns, ammunition and food 
were piled into these improvised forts. Here the Japanese made 
their suicide stands. Finally the ammunition was exploded and 
the buildings set on fire. The blazes spread and in the end al 
most four-fifths of this matchless city, the Pearl of the Orient, 
was razed to the ground. 

On February 7 in the earliest days of the Manila fighting 
MacArthur toured the captured prison camps and for hours 
roamed among the rejoicing internees, greeting such beloved 
old friends as Theo Rogers whom he had known since he was 
a lieutenant more than 40 years before. Rogers had been de 
fying his jailers for three years and was one of the unsung he 
roes of the terrible incarceration. Sniping was still going on 
along the University walls, and when MacArthur inspected 
Malacanan Palace a little later, there was still indiscriminate 

His troops were now well within the great city, and its 
doom was clear. But his thoughts were on the final victory over 
Japan as he made a short statement: 

The fall of Manila marks the end of one great phase of the 
Pacific struggle and sets the stage for another. We shall not rest 
until our enemy is completely overthrown. We do not count any 
thing done as long as anything remains to be done. 

We are well on the way, but Japan itself is our final goal. 
With Australia saved, the Philippines liberated and the ultimate 
redemption of the East Indies and Malaya thereby made a cer 
tainty, our motto becomes "On to Tokyo!" We are ready in this 
veteran and proven command when called upon. May God speed 
the dayl 

Actually there still remained three full weeks of isolated 
fighting in Manila, for the Japanese had to be burned or 
blasted out of one modern structure after another. Finally the 
survivors sealed themselves up within the high stone walls of 
the picturesque old Walled City. For days they held out against 
artillery and mortars, flame throwers, hand grenades and gaso 
line poured through holes in roofs and ceilings and set afire. It 
was March 4 before the last fanatical defender was killed. 


Even after the double relief of Santo Tomds and Bilibid 
prison, one more mercy mission remained to be fulfilled before 
MacArthur could feel that he had done his full duty to his 
old comrades. 

On February 3, the very day that the flying column of the ist 
Cavalry Division stormed its way into Santo Tomds Univer 
sity grounds, MacArthur sent word to Lt. General Eichelberger 
in Batangas province that at the earliest moment it was feasi 
ble he should attempt the rescue of the 2,000 American and 
Allied prisoners of war and civilian internees held in a prison 
camp at Los Banos, on the southern shore of Laguna de Bay. 
The stockade was 50 miles within the Japanese lines and 
across swampy and difficult country. 

Eichelberger had just moved up with the men of the 5 nth 
Parachute Regiment, who had dropped on the strategic Tagay- 
tay Ridge, and were preparing for their dash toward Manila. 
A few days later the units he had been leading were trans 
ferred to the Sixth Army and he flew back to his Eighth Army 
H.Q. in Leyte. He turned over to Major General Joseph M. 
Swing and his nth Airborne Division the mission to rescue 
the prisoners at Los Bafios. 

As leader of the difficult venture Swing chose Colonel Robert 
Soule of the i88th Glider Regiment, who had been wounded 
at Tagaytay Ridge and had been recommended for promotion 
to brigadier general and for a Distinguished Service Cross. In 
some ways this Los Bafios mission was even a more desperate 
assignment than either of the two previous rescue tasks. Be 
sides the regular guards at the camp, there were several thou 
sand enemy troops not more than three or four hours march 
from the stockade. 

Filipino guerillas, posing as friendly natives, were sent in to 
spy out the land. They returned with an American engineer, 
Peter Miles, who had recently escaped. He was able to draw 
maps of the exact location of the camp and the pill boxes, 
sentry posts and defensive measures. 

A half-hundred amphtracs that were modernized versions of 
the old alligators and buffalos were collected and moved from 

the Fort McKinley area to Paranaque on Manila Bay below the 
city. Nichols Field was now in American hands, and nine 0-473 
were brought in and made ready for a company of paratroop 

On February 20 a detachment of 32 Americans and 80 Fili 
pino guerillas made their way to the northern shore of Laguna 
de Bay and quietly paddled their native bancas to the lower 
end of the shallow lake and went into hiding. When nightfall 
came, on Washington s birthday, the group slogged on foot for 
seven hours across rice paddies and through swamps. Early in 
the morning of February 23 they set up columns of phospho 
rous smoke as markers for both the paratroopers and the flotilla 
of amphtracs, which were loaded with picked men from the 
ist Battalion of Soule s own regiment. 

The leaders of the three converging outfits might have been 
using stop watches, so accurate was their coordinated timing. 
While the guerillas suddenly broke in through the gates and 
killed the sentries, the amphtracs walloped up the lake shore 
and rattled toward the firing. In a matter of minutes the para 
troopers dropped from the sky and hurried into their agreed 
positions to meet any Japanese countercharge. Soon American 
air patrols appeared, ready to help if needed. 

Swiftly the helpless litter cases were carried to the amphtracs 
and rushed to safety. The shuttle service went into action, and 
all the 2,000 prisoners were safely evacuated. Close to 250 
Japanese guards were killed, at a total loss of 2 dead and i 
wounded American. The internees had a single casualty one 
man slightly wounded. 

MacArthur had had no personal share in the exact planning 
of this third miracle rescue, but it had his magic touch. Water, 
ground and air had all three contributed. To the technique of 
the double envelopment was now added the new contribution 
of vertical envelopment. In miniature that had been repeated 
here all the elements of surprise, speed and force, and the com 
plete use of every type of weapon, communication and coordi 
nation that MacArthur had mastered. 

It was a post-graduate school of war that he had been run 
ning these past three years. 


In Washington the reaction to MacArthur s phrase, On to 
Tokyo," made in his press release when the heart of Manila 
was captured, was resentment against him. Navy spokesmen 
quietly put out the word that "MacArthur will go to Japan 
only over their dead body." Even the reports now arriving of 
the heavy losses on Iwo Jima, fought under over-all Navy com 
mand, did not soften the criticism against MacArthur. 

On February 10 John Callan O Laughlin, publisher of the 
important Army A* Navy Journal, and MacArthur s devoted 
friend, ran an editorial regarding the future invasion of the 
Japanese home islands that brought a storm of disapproval. In 
part it read: 

Reports are current that the plans for the invasion, which 
have been approved, contemplate his [MacArthur s] retention 
for the clean-up job in the Philippines, and the assignment of 
another officer as commander of the invading expedition. 

In view of MacArthur s superb leadership, the significant re 
sults that have been obtained by purely American forces and the 
low number of casualties his men have sustained, it would seem 
that there would be no question about his continued leadership 
of the military operations to be conducted in the homeland of 
the Far Eastern enemy. 

No one knows better than MacArthur that without the pro 
tection his command and communications have received from 
our incomparable fleets, an advance could not have been made 
into the Philippines. It follows that his realization of the debt 
he is under to the Navy and Fleet Admiral Nimitz s knowledge 
that land operations must complete Japan s defeat have facili 
tated the closest cooperation between the two commanders, and 
that this cooperation would unquestionably continue during the 
attack on the enemy s home islands. 

And because he knows them thoroughly and has profited by 
their use, General MacArthur is the military commander who 
should lead our forces into these islands. We hope the President 
and the War Department will so announce. 

Making one of his regular calls on the Army Chief of Staff, 
O Laughlin found Marshall very much disturbed by the edi- 


torial. A day or two later in a confidential letter to ex-President 
Hoover, O Laughlin wrote of Marshall s pique: 

He spoke of MacArthur as obstinate and ambitious. . . . Ap 
parently the only friend in the Navy the General has is Halsey, 
who has lauded the General as a great leader . . . Marshall de 
clared he would have something to say as to who would be 
Supreme Commander in the Far East. He said that there must 
be organized for that region another Supreme Headquarters 
Allied Expeditionary Force, with British representation as in 
Europe. . . . One rumor is that Marshall or King, neither of 
whom have led troops nor fleets in battle, may be sent in Supreme 
Command. Marshall, a 5-star General, is senior to MacArthur of 
the same rank. 

On March 14, Lt. General George Kenney arrived in Wash 
ington from Manila on a mission from MacArthur to get more 
planes. In a long talk with the Chief of Staff he insisted that 
Japan had lost her air power, her navy and merchant marine, 
and that there was no longer any necessity of holding back 
until Germany was defeated or the Russians came in. Marshall 
called in several members of his staff and asked Kenney to re 
peat his analysis. Marshall countered with the suggestion that 
he did not agree with Kenney s arguments that Japan was at 
the end of her rope. He insisted she still had a great army and 
was full of fight. Likewise, he made it clear that he had little 
faith in the Japanese overtures for peace. 

Less than a week later Kenney called on President Roose 
velt and gave him the same general optimistic picture regard 
ing the rapid disintegration of Japan s sea and air power, and 
he assured the President that America could invade when and 
where she wished. When he was leaving, the President sug 
gested that Kenney would probably like to know whether Nim- 
itz or MacArthur was to run the invasion. The President s ex 
act words that Kenney shortly reported to MacArthur were: 
"You might tell Douglas that I expect he will have a lot of 
work to do well to the north of the Philippines before very 

But whether Roosevelt s memory was short, or he had 
merely been indulging in little pleasantries, or the pressure 


against MacArthur s appointment was suddenly too great for 
him to withstand, the fact soon became clear that there was no 
substance to the message he had sent through Kenney to Mac- 
Arthur, intimating that he was to be supreme commander. 

On April 5 the Joint Chiefs of Staff announced a split com 
mand in the Pacific, Nimitz to be in charge of all naval forces, 
MacArthur to control all army forces. 

Seven days later, April 12, the President was dead. 



No Substitute 
for Victory 





While MacArthur was conducting his giant envelopment move 
ment on Luzon, there were important developments elsewhere 
in the world. 

From February 4 to 14, 1945, the Big Three met at Yalta. 
Roosevelt, who had been elected for a fourth term only three 
months before the conference, was obviously a dying man, and 
Churchill likewise had passed the peak of his powers. 

Only one of the Big Three, Stalin, still possessed great vigor 
and the exact knowledge of what he wanted. Hatred of Hitler 
and Germany had worn out the other two, with the additional 
tragedy that neither they nor certain of their most trusted ad 
visors had a long-range view of what was required for a last 
ing peace in Europe. The idea of unconditional surrender and 
revenge still largely dominated the American and British lead 
ers, with General Marshall apparently obsessed by what he felt 
was the need of securing Russian help at any price to bring 
about an early war victory over Japan. 


For some time there had been divided opinion among the 
U. S. Joint Chiefs of Staff regarding the necessity of an actual 
invasion of the Japanese home islands and whether Russia 
must be brought into the Pacific war. Marshall and his Army 
people in the Pentagon had favored both of these propositions. 
On the other hand, since early 1944 Admiral Leahy, the Presi 
dent s personal Chief of Staff, had felt that naval and air block 
ade coupled with air bombardment could eventually bring Ja 
pan to her knees, without actual invasion and without Russia s 
entering the Pacific war. Admiral King and his own staff had 
been less optimistic. They seemed to favor the idea that Japan 
would have to be destroyed before she would surrender, and 
that an invasion of the China coast might be necessary. Sixty-six 
cities were to be destroyed by bombing, which had already 
started. (Later King was to agree to a direct invasion of the 
Japanese home islands, without the use of bases on either 
Formosa or the China coast, but he still clung to his prejudice 
regarding navy domination over the army.) 

Within the inner policy-making group of the American del 
egation at Yalta was a glib and attractive young man, who bore 
the highest possible recommendations from Assistant Secretary 
of State Dean Acheson. Long afterward it was discovered that 
Alger Hiss was a Communist spy who had been skillfully 
planted in the State Department. He had originally been 
brought to Washington by Supreme Court Justice Felix Frank 

The sick and undependable Roosevelt, his already handi 
capped mind inflamed with grandiose ideas of a World State 
that he would head, obviously was in no shape to bargain with 
the calculating Stalin, who knew exactly what he wanted. 
Roosevelt s principal advisor, the equally exhausted and dying 
Harry Hopkins, offered little assistance to Roosevelt in exact 
ing a practical long-range agreement with Stalin. Obviously 
what was needed was a settlement that at least would give 
America the benefit of a decent European peace and a future 
Asiatic pact that would carry out America s sacred obligations 
to her old ally, Chiang Kai-shek, and would guard her own 
great Pacific interests. Hopkins, who had got along so well with 
Stalin by the simple expedient of giving him everything he 

wanted, apparently backed the President in his unrealistic idea 
that by the sheer weight of his trust and his generosity to 
Stalin he could win over the tough dictator to a sense of honor 
and decency. 

The net result, however, was that his support of Roose 
velt s post-war U. N. views permitted Stalin to move ahead to 
the control of Poland, to the dismemberment of Germany and 
to the subsequent tragedies that befell Eastern Europe with 
all hope for a permanent and decent peace grounded for long 
years to come. As to the Far East, the secret terms of the Yalta 
agreement betrayed Nationalist China and actually gave away 
lands and rights that belonged to her and to no one else. In 
return for this last dishonest act Stalin promised to enter the 
war against Japan within three months after victory over Ger 
many and, in addition, to become a member of the future 
United Nations. 

There was no possible way that MacArthur could know of 
these secret terms affecting China s integrity. As a matter of 
fact, even the Secretary of State and members of the American 
Cabinet as well as Chiang Kai-shek were kept in ignorance of 
them for some time. Stated briefly, the Yalta concessions in 
cluded: the leasing to Russia of Port Arthur at the head of the 
Yellow Sea; making Dairen into a free international port; the 
return of the one-time Russian rights on the Manchurian rail 
road, and handing back to Russia the strategic lower half of 
Sakhalin Island and the Kuriles immediately north of Ja 
pan. Stalin promised as part payment his support of the Na 
tionalist Government of Chiang in China. 

At the final plenary session at Yalta the persuasive Stalin, 
according to Admiral Leahy, openly explained: "I want only 
to have returned to Russia what the Japanese have taken from 
my country." The fact that much of it had actually belonged 
to China apparently was overlooked when the President re 
marked: "That seems like a very reasonable suggestion from 
our ally to get back that which has been taken from her/ 

Stalin agreed at the time that he would enter the war against 
Japan within three months after the German surrender. Mar 
shall had won his point. Regardless of the price, America was 
to have Russian help against Japan. 


MacArthur, of course, learned nothing of these disastrous 
secret agreements until months after they had been consum 
mated. Never once had he been formally consulted by Wash 
ington regarding the need for bribing Stalin to enter the Pa 
cific war. 

As a professional soldier he could not help admiring the 
valor and fighting qualities of the Russian Army and the mili 
tary resistance of the Kremlin dictatorship. On February 23, 
1945, in the midst of the desperate fighting in Manila, he is 
sued a statement that read: 

The anniversary of the Russian Army cannot fail to be a 
memorable event to every soldier of whatever nationality. Its 
extraordinary achievements represent in many respects the most 
magnificent war effort the world has ever seen. It epitomizes what 
so emotionally moves all fighting men courage, sacrifice for 
country, steadfastness under stress, and that white flame of de 
termination which burns but the fiercer when desperation is 
faced. These are fundamental military virtues which constitute 
greatness and produce immortality. God grant its complete vic 
tory in its just struggle. 

Whether MacArthur wrote out this statement at the direct 
request of the War Department is not known. Three years pre 
viously on a hint from the War Department he had issued a 
highly complimentary salute to the gallantry of the Red sol 

During these swift and confusing spring days of 1945 when the 
European war was being brought to a close, MacArthur still 
faced heavy fighting both in Luzon and in the central and 
southern islands. In Lt. General Eichelberger, commander of 
the Eighth Army, he had found his Stonewall Jackson. What 
"Old Jack * meant to Lee in swift and sure obedience and en 
ergy, the tall, fearless Buckeye meant to the Southwest Pacific 

In place of the rolling hills and sweet villages of northern 
Virginia and the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, Eichelberger was 

now to operate on a sea, air and land battlefield more than 500 
miles square. In the short five-month period from March 15 to 
August 15, 1945, he was to be credited with 52 separate landings, 
covering the vast areas of all the central and southern islands 
south of Luzon. 

The Visayas came first, with landings on Panay on March 
15; then on Cebu on the 2 8th, and on sugar-rich Negros the 
following day. In western Negros alone there were 14,000 en 
emy troops. Already Eichelberger had other units operating far 
to the south, and toward the end of March he landed near 
Zamboanga in Mindanao and seized the air strip. There was 
no slacking of his whirlwind attacks. 

Eichelberger now brought his skill to the difficult task of 
liberating Mindanao, the second largest island in the Philip 
pine group. It was a razzle-dazzle type of football-war his team 
played. He drove from three sides across the great mountain 
ous island toward the Japanese base at Davao. On May 4 he 
personally led the advance column of troops of his 24th Divi 
sion and suddenly broke into the outskirts of the battered 

Three days later came the news of the German surrender. 
The end of the European war was to bring certain changes in 
the Pacific setup. There would now be almost unlimited 
ground and air reinforcements to draw from, and plans were 
swiftly made for the transfer of numerous units half-way 
around the world. General "Hap" Arnold, Air Corps represent 
ative on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, flew to Manila with General 
George E. Stratemeyer, air commander in China, to confer with 
MacArthur and George Kenney. Kenney had already consoli 
dated his own immortal Fifth with the experienced Thirteenth 
to form the Far East Air Force. To many it appeared that the im 
aginative Kenney should have the over-all air command of the 
entire Pacific. But Arnold had his own ideas. 

The top U. S. air commander announced his plan to bring 
in Doolittle and probably Twining from the European thea 
tre and give them the long-range Superfortresses to be as 
signed to the new Eighth and Twentieth forces. These two 
would constitute the Strategic Air Force, and General Spaatz 
would probably be placed in command. But as executive agent 


of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Arnold personally would be in com 
mand of all air. 

No single ship of the magnificent B-sgs had been assigned 
to MacArthur s theatre, and none would be. Many of the men 
of the original Fifth Air Force, who from early Guinea days had 
fought on a shoestring, did not fully appreciate the necessity of 
importing European air commanders, who from the start had 
had ten times their number of planes and supplies, and who, 
as one of Kenney s commanders complained, "had been eating 
high on the hog." Kenney and his officers, Whitehead, Wurt- 
smith and Hutchison, Crab and Cooper, may have resented the 
newcomers slightly, now that the Pacific war was obviously draw 
ing to a close and the terrible days of half-starvation in men and 
equipment were over. But they all wanted to finish the war and 
get home. 

In June MacArthur journeyed south by cruiser to witness 
the landings of the Australian troops at Brunei Bay in Borneo. 
Kenney s air had cleared the beaches there and broken the set 
defenses of the Japanese on that side of the great island. Mac- 
Arthur had insisted on going ashore within an hour after the 
first waves had landed at 9:15. 

The weather was unbearably hot and muggy, but MacAr 
thur appeared fresh and cool as he strode in the lead of the 
little party toward the advance dements. Men years his junior 
were dripping with sweat and falling behind. Rifle fire broke 
out ahead, and MacArthur seemed to increase his pace as he 
hurried to the point. The Aussies were moving up a few Ma 
tilda tanks of the vintage of the dark days of Buna and Gona. 
One tall lad from Down Under, looking up as the brass strolled 
by, recognized the General and remarked: "Well, ain t that a 
bit of bloody all right!" 

The tanks struck a trap and were held up. Suddenly two 
Nips in ditches on opposite sides of the road, and less than a 
hundred feet away, opened up. The Aussies killed them. Mac- 
Arthur walked up to where one lay, and leaning over opened 
his leather cartridge box. That second an army photographer 
dropped to one knee to take a picture. A bullet ripped into his 
shoulder. MacArthur saw that the man was not badly wounded 
and then led the way ahead. He walked as if he were actually 

exalted by the danger he faced. (He was wearing his "lucky 
hat/ as usual.) 

Brigadier General Fellers of his staff turned to George Ken- 
ney and whispered that someone should get the Old Man to 
turn back. "If MacArthur goes, there is no one else who can 
hold this Southwest Pacific together/* Fellers said to the air 
commander. "He won t listen to me any more. He just tells 
me I can go back if I want to, but that he s going on. Wish 
you d try him, General." 

Kenney had his own way of doing things. He walked up 
alongside of MacArthur and remarked that if he wanted to col 
lect a bullet as a souvenir, he was sure going after it the right 
way. Pretty soon they d be running into a Jap outpost, but that 
was the infantry s affair and not the commander-in-chief s busi 
ness. How about heading back toward the shore and the 
cruiser Boise? MacArthur grinned down at his air commander 
and chuckled: "All right, George, we ll go back. You mustn t 
miss that chocolate ice cream soda they ve got for you." 

All this had happened on the Sunday morning of June 10, 
1945. On Tuesday the party was at the beautiful harbor of Jolo 
on the Sulu Sea. Eichelberger, fresh from his great triumph in 
Mindanao, flew in for a conference. With Kenney and Jens 
Doe, the 2^th Division commander, they called at the regi 
mental headquarters to meet the Sultan of Jolo, who had come 
in to pay his respects. He was a weazened little old man, who 
in 1905 at the end of the Moro War had surrendered to 
John J. Pershing, then a cavalry captain. He had been loyal to 
the Americans in all the years since that time, and his people 
had enjoyed killing Japanese soldiers who had wandered out 
from the old Walled City. 

That night after dinner on board the Boise the General un 
burdened himself for a full hour on his conclusions about the 
war and the mistakes being made in the Central Pacific, about 
the Russians and about the world in general. He explained, 
for instance, how he had decided on the Brunei Bay operation 
only after he had studied the enemy dispositions for several 
months. When the Japanese pulled out their fleet from Brunei, 
he figured they would also pare down their garrison. He 
watched intelligence reports, studied photographs of landing 


areas and finally concluded that his keystone dictum of know 
ing exactly "when and where to fight" had been satisfied. It 
was the companion piece to "hittin em where they ain t." 

Turning to the larger strategy of the future, he explained 
that if it was necessary eventually to land on the enemy s home 
islands, a prerequisite should be to have the Russian Army 
strike in northern Manchuria before America tried to invade 
Kyushu, the lowermost island of the Japanese chain. The Rus 
sians should engage the million Japanese soldiers in Manchuria 
and dull the edge of the Nip Air Force. It would take up much 
of the shock of the American landings and save thousands of 
American lives. 

The Japanese soldier was tough physically and spiritually, he 
went on. He could live on very little, and he would willingly 
die. From a purely military point of view it was too bad to 
see such courageous soldiers suffer from such stupid leadership. 
Yamashita was the best general the Emperor had, but he had 
fought a very poor campaign on Luzon, MacArthur concluded. 

Two days later MacArthur went ashore at Zamboanga. There 
had been sharp fighting here a few weeks before, and some 
thousand starving enemy soldiers, including Lt. General Hojo, 
had escaped to the hills. Again that night MacArthur, puffing 
away on his corn-cob, talked of the great battle of Iwo Jima 
and the desperate struggle for Okinawa, both under supreme 
naval command and over which he had not the slightest con 
trol or authority. 

At Iwo Jima the fighting had begun in February 1945, and 
in the terrible days that followed the American casualties had 
been more than 20,000, with some 4,500 killed. This did not 
include the losses of naval personnel, which were well over 
1,000. The counted Japanese dead had been 21,000. King and 
Nimitz and the Joint Chiefs of Staff had decided that the lit 
tle island, 4 miles by 2, was necessary as a half-way base for 
the crippled 6-29 bombers returning to their airfields in Sai- 
pan and the Marianas after bombing the Tokyo area. And the 
Joint Chiefs of Staff considered that it was needed as a base 
for fighters accompanying the heavy American bombers on 
their long-range raids. 

Not even the expensive and deadly Iwo battle had checked 

the Navy and the JCS in their determination to capture the 
large island of Okinawa, which lay almost directly below the 
lower tip of the southern home island of Kyushu. The over-all 
command was in the hands of Admiral Raymond A. Spru- 
ance, with Vice Admiral Richmond K. Turner in charge of 
the amphibious forces: the ground operations were assigned to 
Lt. General Simon B. Buckner, whose Tenth Army included 
both Marine and Army divisions. (Four days after this discus 
sion aboard the Boise, the brave Buckner was killed by a shell 
as he surveyed his front area. He was replaced by Lt. General 
Roy Geiger, of the Marine Corps. After the island had fallen 
Lt. General Joseph W. Stilwell replaced Geiger.) 

The Okinawa landings began on April i and the fierce and 
heroic fighting did not end until June 21. During the week 
before final victory, MacArthur and his officers on the Boise 
had only a rough estimate of the losses and the frighten 
ing cost the Marines and the Army, and the Navy as well, paid 
for their triumph. Total American ground casualties on the is 
land eventually were put at 65,631 men, including 7,300 dead. 
The Japanese Air, largely suicide planes, had sunk 36 ships 
and damaged 333 others. Naval casualties afloat were esti 
mated as high as 27,000 men, with 4,907 killed on the U. S. 
ships. Japanese dead totalled 107,500, with 7,400 prisoners. 

The night closed in with the Boise, moving northward 
through the quiet Sulu Sea. It was a serious and disturbed 
group who quietly analyzed the costly Okinawa venture. Why 
had American casualties been so high? Could they have been 
prevented? Had there been serious errors in tactics? Thete was 
some question, in the first place, whether Okinawa was an ab 
solutely essential objective. Smaller islands nearby might have 
been taken swiftly without serious losses and fighter bases es 
tablished if it still had been felt that Okinawa was absolutely 

The kamakaze suicide planes had injected an element into 
the long battle that involved the ancient law of self- 
preservation. Naturally, the first duty of the naval aircraft car 
riers and escorts was to protect themselves and their sister 
ships. Consequently, during enemy air attacks few of the car 
rier planes could give the ground forces the needed help and 


protection. They had first to protect their own ships. In doing 
this, possibly as many as 90% of the American carrier-borne 
missions flown were to protect the fleet. 

Once the upper two-thirds of the 68-mile-long island had 
been secured, the lower tip could have been sealed off, and the 
troops there allowed to starve. Most of the American ground 
casualties had occurred in the exhausting series of deadly fron 
tal attacks against this southern nest. The Japanese there might 
have been made prisoners of their own barricades, and the cap 
tured airfields and bases in the central part of the island could 
rapidly have been put into operation. 

Within two weeks after the initial landings an area 50 miles 
long and the width of the island and well beyond enemy artil 
lery range was firmly held by the Americans. It was space 
enough to build a great and useful air base and staging area 
for the coming assault on the Japanese home islands, without 
regard for the doomed enemy troops trapped below. This was 
precisely what was done near the end of the costly campaign. 

Even when the frontal attacks against the lower pocket were 
proving so costly, no bold attempts were ordered at surprise 
amphibious landings or great air drops behind the enemy lines 
that might have permitted double envelopment. Excellent and 
brave as the ground commanders certainly were, the situation 
called for an over-all leader who had the imagination and ex 
pert know-how as well as the authority to depart from staid, 
old methods of direct assault. 

Such was the conclusion arrived at that late June night on 
the warm Sulu Sea. 

On July i Eichelberger and his Eighth Army took over the 
fighting on Luzon and throughout the entire Philippines. 
Krueger and his mighty Sixth Army were released to rest and 
reequip for the desperate undertaking that lay ahead. 

This Sixth Army had fought long and gallantly. All Luzon 
was now cleared, save the almost impenetrable Caraballo 
mountains in the north, and portions of the great Sierra Madre 

chain that ran along the eastern side of the island. Tens of 
thousands of utterly fanatical Japanese still held like grim 
death to their caves and mortar pits and dugouts along the 
steep slopes and narrow, roadless valleys that led into the high 
places. To capture a single key mountain track, less than three 
miles long in the Caraballos, had taken weeks of cruel fighting 
before the series of 214 caves had been blasted and burned 
out, and the last of the 9,000 half-crazed defenders killed. The 
final link in the steel chain that was now pulled taut around 
Luzon had been forged with the American landings at Legaspi 
in the south and at Aparri in the extreme north. 

By middle August less than 50,000 Japanese troops remained 
alive of the total 400,000 who had guarded the scattered islands 
when MacArthur on October 250, 1944, made his first landing 
at Leyte. On Luzon alone there were now 192,000 counted Jap 
anese dead, and 9,700 captured. The total cost had been 7,933 
American dead and 32,632 wounded and missing. 

The ratio furnished an accurate table of the small American 
losses against enemy killed in MacArthur s Southwest Pacific 
campaigns. The comparative figures possibly had never been 
equalled in war between more or less equal forces. Krueger s 
Sixth Army alone had counted more than 250,000 Japanese 
dead since it fought its first meager and handicapped battles in 
Guinea. It had by-passed and left to die on the vine at least an 
other quarter-million. Yet its own losses for almost three years 
of war, including Leyte and Luzon, had been 13,199 killed, 
51,162 wounded and 528 missing a total casualty list of 64, 
889. For every Sixth Army casualty suffered, the American 
soldiers in MacArthur s command had demanded almost four 
dead Japanese, and an equal number by-passed and left behind 
to starve. Yet MacArthur s naval forces and amphibious units 
were but a fraction of those available to the Central Pacific. 

The MacArthur strategy and tactics had paid off handsomely 
in American boys who came home. 

MacArthur will go down as the first great commander who 
fully understood and practiced the new 4th dimension in war 
psychological warfare. It can well be called the battle for the 
mind of the enemy. Its principal weapons were air-drop leaflets, 


radio beamings and front-line broadcasts on loud-speakers. It 
had been developed in the New Guinea campaigns but it 
reached its full effectiveness in the Leyte and Luzon battles. 

The sudden death of Roosevelt on April 12 left many highly 
important matters regarding the Pacific war hanging in the 
air. No final decision had been reached regarding Japanese 
peace moves and possible surrender terms. Nor had a conclu 
sion been evolved whether Japan could be defeated by sea 
blockade and air bombings alone, or if the actual ground in 
vasion of the home islands must go ahead. 

This last desperate move might eventually cost as many as a 
quarter-million American casualties, and was connected irrevo 
cably with the proposition of Russia entering the Pacific war as 
a result of the promises made at Yalta. In Washington there 
was much confusion as a result of the sudden succession as 
President of Harry S. Truman, who had had no part in the 
tragic conference nor any real knowledge of the unrevealed 

Washington had withheld from MacArthur knowledge of 
the secret efforts Japan s Emperor had begun as far back as 
February 14 to get Russia to act as a mediator between Amer 
ica and Japan. Through intelligence and the early breaking of 
the Japanese code the overtures became known to both the 
State Department and General Marshall. It was not until the 
Potsdam Conference at the end of July that Stalin acknowl 
edged the attempt and admitted his refusal to raise his hand to 
stop the war. 

On April 7, 1945, the radical Koiso Ministry of the Japanese 
War Party resigned in Tokyo. It was shortly replaced by a 
cabinet headed by the 77-year-old conservative Kantaro Su 
zuki, chamberlain to the Emperor, who was recognized as a 
moderate. It was perfectly clear to MacArthur that the drastic 
move was a signal to the world that the Emperor was in the 
saddle and that Japan might be prepared to move toward peace 

All through the early days of 1945 there were bitter and con- 

stant attacks on the Japanese Emperor and the monarchy in the 
radical and pro-administration press of America. Men who had 
advocated the utter crushing of Germany under the disastrous 
guise of unconditional surrender, were now clamoring for some 
such ruin for Japan and for her whole system of government. 
Both points of demand had been strenuously advocated by the 
extreme radical press, the Communist Daily Worker in New 
York setting the pace. Communist sympathizers over the coun 
try joined in the cry for revenge against the Emperor and his 
authority. Yet it was the one issue that would insure the stub 
born and uncompromising resistance of the Japanese people. 

MacArthur s concern was limited to the stern realities of 
the situation as they involved the American military forces in 
the Pacific. As long as four million Japanese soldiers in Asia 
and the Pacific islands and another two million in Japan were 
still armed and unbeaten, it was uncertain whether the Emperor 
himself could handle them, even if he agreed to a surrender. 

On May 26, twelve days after the German surrender, for 
mal orders were issued by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washing 
ton setting the target date of November i, 1945, for the inva 
sion of Kyushu, and March i, 1946, for the invasion of the 
Tokyo Plain. Before the first landings in either island, Japa 
nese cities, harbors, factories, concentrations and communica 
tions were to be pulverized by constant air bombardment. 

According to MacArthur s information there had been little 
obvious weakening in the fanatical Japanese resistance, and 
even if the Emperor and his more moderate cabinet members 
wanted peace, there was no assurance that the War Party 
would consent and make invasion unnecessary. From army in 
telligence sources the General knew something of the enemy 
plans of resistance on the home islands. Great connecting caves 
and tunnels, well behind the landing beaches, had already been 
prepared with their caches of food and ammunition, and here 
fanatical soldiers could fight on until the last man was killed. 
Approximately two and a half million regular soldiers still 
were garrisoned on the home islands, and there were hundreds 
and possibly thousands of suicide planes hidden in wooded 
areas and cemeteries with camouflaged security. 

But MacArthur had no means of knowing the mass of in- 


trigue, subterfuge and pro-Soviet politics that was being played 
in Washington during these late spring months of 1945 when 
President Truman was new to his job. Nor had he been fully 
informed as to the secret sections of the Yalta Agreement. 
His chief concern was victory and the least possible loss of 
American lives. 

At best he had only vague knowledge of how the State De 
partment was split wide open over the questions: first, whether 
the Japanese Army at home and on the Asiatic mainland would 
surrender at the command of the Emperor: second, whether 
there should be a peace proposal by the United States Govern 
ment that would guarantee the continuation of the Emperor s 
life and authority: third, whether the entrance of Russia into 
the Japanese war would bring on all kinds of dangerous com 
plications into the Far East and the Western Pacific. 

In the State Department under the direction of Assistant 
Secretary Dean Acheson, there had been slowly developing a 
leftist crowd calling themselves liberals, who were supported 
by a number of men of internationalist sympathies, both 
within and without the Department. They were vigorously op 
posed by several old China hands, headed by Joseph Grew, 
one-time ambassador to Japan and now Undersecretary of 
State, and his former Tokyo Counsellor Eugene HL Dooman. 
Eventually this small, moderate bloc numbered among its 
supporters Secretary of War Stimson and Secretary of Navy 
James V. Forrestal. General George Marshall and most of the 
army people around him seemed dominated by the group that 
demanded that the Emperor must go, that Russia must be 
brought into the war, and that no terms other than uncondi 
tional surrender should be offered Japan. 

Toward the end of May, when Secretary of State Stettinius 
was still in San Francisco, Undersecretary of State Grew or 
dered Dooman, who was chairman of a three-man State-War- 
Navy coordinating committee for the Pacific, to complete the 
preparation of a paper to be presented to the President that 
would be the basis for Japanese surrender. At a subsequent 
meeting of the Policy Committee of the State Department, the 
paper was studied. There were no objections until it came to 
the part suggesting a constitutional monarchy for Japan once a 

peaceful regime was assured. Both Dean Acheson and Archibald 
MacLeish violently objected to this. Acting Secretary Grew an 
nounced that he would present the paper to the President as it 
stood despite the objections. 

A day or two later Grew and Judge Samuel I. Rosenman 
went to see the President, who carefully read the document. 
According to the later testimony of Dooman before the Senate 
Internal Security Sub-committee, the President said "he would 
approve and accept the document, provided it was agreeable to 
the armed services." Eventually a number were convinced that 
a prompt submission of the peace proposal to Tokyo might 
have brought on a Japanese surrender before Russia came into 
the war, with all the deadly consequences of that act. 

The following day a meeting was called at the Secretary of 
War s office, attended by Grew, Dooman, Judge Rosenman, 
Stimson, Forrestal, McCloy, Elmer Davis, George Marshall and 
several officers of the armed services. Copies of the proposed 
peace document had been handed out, and Stimson explained 
that he approved the paper as it stood. Secretary of Navy For 
restal and John J. McCloy both gave their assent. Elmer Davis, 
Director of the Office of War Information, however, appears to 
have objected and is quoted as stating that he did not approve 
of anything that might be construed in any way as forming a 
basis for negotiated surrender. Unconditional surrender and 
the idea of morgenthauing Japan seemed to suit most of the 

It was now that General Marshall intimated that the docu 
ment be pigeonholed because its publication at this time 
would be premature. It was apparently this decision by Mar 
shall that destroyed any chances of a definite peace proposal 
being made in late May 1945. Russia was still not ready to en 
ter the Pacific war. The delay would certainly be most satis 
factory and helpful to her. 

Two weeks later Owen Lattimore called on President Tru 
man and remonstrated against the government taking any posi 
tion which would enable the monarchy to remain in Japan. 
But Secretary of War Stimson took the surrender proposal to 
the Big Three Conference, which opened in Potsdam near 
Berlin in July, and after securing Churchill s approval pre- 

sented the document to President Truman and Byrnes, the 
new Secretary of State. It was accepted by both men, and its 
contents wirelessed to Chiang Kai-shek. On July 29, exactly 
two months to a day after it had been branded and shelved as 
premature by General Marshall, it was thus promulgated as 
the Potsdam Proclamation to Japan, and it was largely on this 
basis that Japan surrendered 16 days later. Its presentation to 
the Japanese government in May might have cut short the war 
and automatically solved the problem of Russia invading Man 
churia and Korea at the ultimate cost of the loss of China, the 
Korean war and its deadly aftermath. 

One more item of the devious and complicated episode still 
remains to be told. On May 28, the day before the historic 
meeting at the Secretary of War s office in the Pentagon when 
the peace proposal was turned down by the Marshall crowd, a 
radio was received from Harry Hopkins, reporting the result 
of his third interview with Stalin in Moscow. Its opening sen 
tence read: 

By August 8 the Soviet Army will be properly deployed on 
the Manchurian border. . . . Stalin left no doubt in our mind 
that he intends to attack during August. 

When the terms of the Potsdam Declaration to Japan were 
received in Manila in late July, there was considerable skepti 
cism regarding its effect. MacArthur was far from certain that 
it would bring an early peace. He understood how tough and 
fanatical the Japanese militarists were and how deeply en 

He realized fully the terrible damage the constant bombing 
was doing co the home islands and that the ultimate doom of 
Japan had long ago been sealed. While he could fervently hope 
for peace, he must continue in his preparation for the desper 
ate Kyushu landings, scheduled three months ahead. 

On the last day of July Admiral Sherman, Nimitz s chief of 
staff, flew in with the suggestion that it would be well to pre 
pare plans for a Japanese surrender. His idea was that the Navy 
should receive simultaneous surrender of the enemy forces in 

all the principal Japanese and Asiatic harbors. After that was 
accomplished and peace was assured, MacArthur could gradu 
ally land his troops and take over. 

MacArthur made no attempt to conceal his complete disap 
proval of the Navy plan. He was certain that local Japanese 
port and naval commanders in many instances would neither 
believe nor understand the surrender terms and some might 
even refuse to recognize their validity. The result would be 
confusion, with the possibility of fighting breaking out in prac 
tically every harbor entered by the American Navy. Nor would 
the Navy be able adequately to garrison the ports immediately 
after their surrender was effected. 

MacArthur contended that a bloodless surrender of the en 
emy forces was possible only if it were made in Tokyo at the 
direct order of the Emperor. Once Hirohito s personal surren 
der orders were made known to his field commanders, they 
would almost certainly obey them. MacArthur was firm in his 
belief that American demands to the enemy ground, sea and 
air commanders, if unsupported by the Emperor s mandate, 
would lead to heavy local fighting wherever Japanese forces 
were intact. 

Time was the critical factor, and MacArthur insisted that 
when the actual capitulation neared, he and a reasonable num 
ber of troops should be landed in Tokyo without a moment s 
delay. Here in the Emperor s palace he planned to receive the 
formal surrender and arrange for similar actions in the various 
Pacific islands and on the Asiatic mainland. Otherwise it was 
almost certain that Japanese reaction would result in a terrible 
and completely unnecessary loss of American life. 

When Admiral Sherman would not agree, MacArthur ex 
plained that he would then have George Kenney fly him to 
Tokyo at the proper time. He would order the Japanese to 
clear and guard an airdome near Tokyo; then he would have 
an American army division brought in by air lift, and he per 
sonally would receive the surrender and assume command of 
all Allied forces as they landed. 

With the interview over, Admiral Sherman, flabbergasted at 
the startling and realistic proposal, went to Lt. General Suth 
erland, MacArthur s chief of staff, for a re-checking. Suther- 


land gave his opposite number little satisfaction. "Well, he s 
personally landed at Manus, Hollandia, Morotai, Leyte, Lin- 
gayen, Brunei Bay and Balikpapan," Sutherland explained, 
"and if he said he d land at Tokyo, he will do it and I shall 
not try to talk him out of it." 

Mac Arthur s G-g, Major General Chamberlain, then met 
with Admiral Sherman and details of the MacArthur plan were 
shortly worked out. But the war was still on, and peace was 
still uncertain. 

The early August days were crowded with rumors and 
counter rumors, with bright hopes and pessimistic reactions. 
Meanwhile taking out the Japanese cities and their war poten 
tials went on. The waters of the Inland Sea were daily mined 
from the air, and all Japanese shipping was blasted around-the- 
clock. On flying days as many as 1,500 of Kenney s bombers 
alone carried out their missions of death and destruction 
against Japanese bases and installations all the way from Kyu 
shu to Borneo. At the same time the deadly B-2gs were piling 
up their scores. 

On August 5, Manila time, a special messenger arrived in 
Manila with the top secret information that an atomic bomb 
would be dropped on an industrial area south of Tokyo the 
following day. There had been a trial explosion in mid-July at 
Los Alamos, New Mexico, but no one could be sure what 
would be the result of this full-scale effort. The A-bomb 
dropped on August 6 did not actually rock the Eastern world, 
as some believed it might, but the early reports estimated that 
a hundred thousand human beings were destroyed or maimed 
in Hiroshima. 

There was still no final news on that historic day of August 
6 or on the next day about any direct peace answer from To 
kyo. On the 8th MacArthur received the word that the Soviets 
had actually entered the war and that great Russian forces 
were lunging into Manchuria, some directly toward Korea, 
against light Japanese opposition. It was now clear to him 
that under no circumstances would he have to send Americans 
to their death on the beaches of Kyushu and Honshu while a 
million Japanese troops still remained as possible reinforce 
ments in Manchuria. 

MacArthur had been kept at least partially informed of the 
general Manchurian invasion plans of the Russian armies. For 
several weeks previous to the Soviets entering the war, negotia 
tions had been going on between Washington and Moscow for 
a military liaison team to be sent from Manila to contact the 
Russians and join their advances south into Manchuria and 
coordinate the Russian-American air strikes. MacArthur had 
chosen his military secretary, Brigadier General Fellers, to 
head the liaison mission as a major general. The Russians had 
delayed their acceptance of the plan, although they had their 
own mission in the Philippines, and when the fighting shortly 
ended, they refused the proposed American mission the right 
to enter their war zones. 

The day following Russia s declaration of war and march 
into Manchuria, correspondents urged MacArthur to make a 
statement, and on August 9 he released the following: 

I am delighted at the Russian declaration of war against Japan. 
This will make possible a great pincer movement which cannot 
fail to end in the destruction of the enemy. In Europe, Russia 
was on the eastern front, the Allies on the west. Now the Allies 
are on the east and Russia on the west, but the result will be the 

Apparently MacArthur continued to be concerned over the 
possibility that the Japanese armed forces would refuse to sur 
render peacefully, and that they might have to be dug out and 
killed. For four years he had watched the almost inconceivable 
mass suicide tactics of Japanese soldiers when they could have 
saved their lives by a mere gesture of surrender. Time and 
again he had seen the kamakaze fliers dive to their death, and 
he had long pondered over such senseless disregard of human 
life, even if it be their own, that dominated millions of Japa 

There still remained the terrible possibility that these 
strangely devoted and dedicated enemy forces would refuse the 
Emperor s orders to lay down their arms, and an actual inva 
sion of these battered islands would be necessary. The Em 
peror was the key. But even so, MacArthur understood the 
great risk involved, and that Russian intervention in Man- 


churia would save thousands of American lives if the actual 
invasion of the Japanese homeland was necessary. He had been 
rigidly excluded from the great international policy-making 
meetings and had little knowledge of the secret agreements ar 
rived at and the cost Roosevelt and Marshall had paid in 
broken pledges to China for the promise of Stalin s interven 
tion. He could only view the situation from the isolated bor 
ders of his own theatre and not with the full knowledge of 
the intrigues and betrayals at Yalta and later at Potsdam, in 
which General Marshall had actually participated. It was purely 
the human equation that influenced MacArthur. 

The day following his statement the second atomic bomb 
was dropped on Nagasaki. Fortunately it did not hit the center 
of the city, but the damage was ghastly. The two A-bombs 
made every previous act of war or atrocity or revenge seem 
puny and inconsequential. 

A day later, Domei, the official Japanese news agency, broad 
cast the statement that the Potsdam Declaration would be ac 
cepted if the Emperor s dynasty was permitted to remain in 
tact. On the nth a note was sent to Tokyo through the Swiss 
Minister in Washington explaining a little ambiguously that 
the Emperor and the government would be subject to the or 
ders of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers. When 
there was no reply, the following day orders were sent out for 
the several American air forces to continue the bombings. 

On the morning of the igth the Emperor for a second time 
called his Supreme Council together and ordered them to pre 
pare a radio script. This, the Emperor personally recorded on 
a platter as a rescript of surrender to be broadcast that same 
night. It had been a dramatic meeting, and the imperial order 
had barely been carried out when a mob of a thousand in 
flamed soldiers broke into the palace. Only by hiding in his 
bomb-proof shelter did the Emperor save himself from prob 
able assassination. He had held firm to his belief that the peo 
ple would support him because they now knew the war was 
lost and that the military had lied to them. He, too, had read 
the American propaganda pamphlets that had been air 
dropped by the millions over Japan and had aided so materi- 

ally in the psychological preparedness of the masses for their 
surrender and occupation. 

The surrender terms were received in Washington on the 
i4th. Early that evening President Truman broadcast the ac 
ceptance of what he called "the unconditional surrender of 

In his short broadcast the President added that General 
Douglas MacArthur had been appointed Supreme Allied Com 
mander to receive the surrender. 

For three years the able and determined Admiral King had 
constantly fought to insure the Pacific getting even the small 
part of the total war effort that Roosevelt and Churchill be- 
grudgingly allotted it. The Navy s Central Pacific areas kept 
most of the entire Pacific allotments, but without King s sus 
tained efforts up to late 1944 the Japanese war would have 
been even more neglected than it was. 

The terrible losses in the Navy-controlled Okinawa battle 
had shocked President Truman, and this had helped influence 
him in favor of MacArthur. Nimitz was the Navy s choice for 
the post of supreme allied commander. 

The new President had not as yet succumbed to the bitter 
hatred and envy that the leftist groups around the White 
House, along with certain individuals in the Pentagon and 
State Department, had for MacArthur. He could still make his 
own decisions. 

So it was that the bitter controversy over command and al 
lotments that had plagued the Pacific for so long, came to an 
end with victory. The Navy no longer would stand out against 

But other strong forces of even a more deadly nature would 
shortly combine to oppose his ideas and his methods. Washing 
ton would continue a very real and devastating second front for 

The day following Japan s acceptance of the surrender terms 
MacArthur ordered that enemy emissaries fly at once to Manila 


to receive final instructions* He stated that they were to make 
the first leg of the journey in one of their own planes, with 
green crosses painted on the fuselage and wings. They were to 
use the call letters B-A-T-A-A-N, and they would land at Io 
Shima, an island off the northwest tip of Okinawa, and from 
there an American plane would carry them to Manila. 

The Japanese radioed that it was uncertain whether the rep 
resentatives were to sign the surrender or merely negotiate the 
terms. MacArthur sternly answered that his instructions were 
clear and to carry them out. A subsequent message that they 
would use the call letters J-N-P met with a terse order that 
the call letters B-A-T-A-A-N had been given them. 

The envoys arrived in Manila at 6 P.M. August 19. Major 
General Willoughby, Chief of Intelligence, and Colonel Sid 
ney F. Mashbir, fluent Japanese-language scholar and head of 
the Japanese interpreter section of the staff, met the small dele 
gation. There was no show of the amenities, and hand shakes 
were refused by General Willoughby and Colonel Mashbir. 
The enemy group was led directly to a hotel. That night Chief 
of Staff Sutherland received them with cold formality. They 
were told exactly what to do and what was expected of their 
defeated country. There was not the slightest effort at humilia 
tion or brutal intimidation such as Wainwright had received. 
It was all strictly stern, impersonal business. 

MacArthur s instructions to them were clear and precise. 
The Japanese were directed to prepare the airdrome at At- 
sugi, 10 or 15 miles from Yokohama, for the landing of an air 
borne division. They were to arrange hotel accommodations 
and billets and transportation. Their troops were to be with 
drawn first from the Atsugi area and then from Yokohama and 
finally from the Tokyo area. All forces were to be disarmed 
and demobilized as swiftly as possible. The air landings would 
begin August 28, weather permitting, and the formal surren 
der would come two days later. 

The following day the emissaries flew back to Japan. Mac- 
Arthur had decided not to see them, but he had arrived at 
the definite impression that they would honorably and com 
pletely carry out the spirit as well as the letter of their instruc- 

tions. They had also left the feeling that the military and civil 
ian population would be guided by the Emperor s wishes that 
they peacefully lay down their arms and accept the occupation 
of their country. 

For the next ten days he mulled over the risk he and his sol 
diers would be taking in landing almost in the center of a vast 
armed camp. He would be dealing with the psychology of an 
Oriental people, and he would be successful only if overnight 
they could be led to abandon their fanaticism and hate and to 
accept orders from their Emperor that were the exact antithe 
sis of all that they had been taught by the military. Here was 
the unprecedented gamble he was taking. 

It was obvious that his hope of success lay in his own assur 
ance that the Japanese military leaders and population would 
obey the orders of the Emperor, and that the pledges made by 
the emissaries would be carried out. 

MacArthur unhesitatingly decided to take the long chance. 
He called in Eichelberger, whose Eighth Army was to furnish 
the occupation troops, and had him limit his initial landing op 
eration to the nth Airborne Division and cancel the former 
coordinated plan to push the 24th Division ashore in Tokyo 
Bay at the same time. Sea-borne troops could come later. 

Eichelberger suggested that MacArthur at least permit him 
to fly in with a part of his division two days before the Su 
preme Commander s arrival so that he could make sure every 
thing was safe. MacArthur shook his head. Eichelberger could 
have a two-hour start. 

At 9:00 on the morning of August 29 the Supreme Com 
mander in Manila boarded the Bataan for Okinawa. Brigadier 
General Fellers, military secretary, and Colonel Mashbir, in 
terpreter, and his medical aide, Lt. Colonel Roger Egbert, 
and two Filipino orderlies accompanied him. The Japanese 
had radioed that they were having trouble preparing Atsugi 
airdrome and that a short delay was requested. Unsatisfactory 
weather conditions helped out in granting the request. Mac- 
Arthur did not know at the time that the delay asked for was 
largely due to the fact that Japanese Army troops had been 
forced into a sharp little fight before the 300 kamakaze pilots 


billeted at Atsugi could be disarmed and the propellers of 
their planes removed and destroyed. 

At 2:00 in the afternoon of the sgth the Bataan dropped 
down on Okinawa. Later Mac Arthur called on Major General 
Swing, whose nth Airborne Division had been flown up from 
the Philippines in 250 C-54 s that had been loaned Kenney by 
General Arnold. They could fly from Okinawa to Tokyo and 
return without refueling. Kenney had never before had such 
long-range transports, and never for a day had he the use of 
the mighty Superforts. 

General Swing remarked to MacArthur that his air-borne 
troops were landing in fighting clothes ready for anything. 
MacArthur answered casually that it wasn t the clothes the 
men wore that counted but the way they wore them. He added 
that he was especially anxious that the landings and occupation 
be made without any serious incidents. 

That night MacArthur sat on the little porch in front of his 
Quonset hut and outlined to a member of his staff his ideas 
about the Japanese occupation and the great task that lay 
ahead. They had been formulated into exact phrases and con 
clusions in his mind during the ten days since the Japanese 
emissaries arrived at Manila. But they were based on his own 
deep background and knowledge of the Far East that covered 
a full four decades. 

It was a seven-point policy he proposed, and all was to be 
implemented through the Emperor and the machinery of the 
Imperial government. 

1. Disarm all Japanese forces. 

2. Demobilize and send the men to their homes. 

3. Divert such heavy industry as remains from war activity. 

4. Open all schools with no check on instruction save to end 
all pre-military teaching and add courses in civics. 

5. Give the vote to women. 

6. Hold free elections. 

7. Permit labor to organize and bargain for its rights. 
Although far-seeing and humane, it seemed a rather large 

order. At best it would take many years to fulfill the complex 
mission. He was well into his 67th year, and he had had no 
single day of relief for more than four years. And it had al- 

ready been eight and a half years since he had stepped foot on 
his homeland. 

Lt. General Sutherland joined MacArthur s plane at 9:00 on 
the morning after his arrival at Okinawa, and rode in the cock 
pit on the five-hour flight to the Atsugi airfield. Brigadier Gen 
eral Whitney also accompanied the party. Eichelberger and 
some 500 soldiers, with the band of the nth Airborne Divi 
sion, were on hand to welcome the Bataan when it landed at 
2:00 P.M., August 30. For some minutes the men on the plane 
had been keeping their eyes on a sight that certainly none of 
them would ever see again. Far below on the broad waters of 
Tokyo Bay lay the hundreds of warships comprising the great 
Pacific armada that had had so much to do with victory. 

MacArthur was puffing on his corncob pipe when he led the 
way down the landing ladder of his plane. Eichelberger sa 
luted him as he stepped to the ground. 

"Bob, this is the payoff," he said with a grin. 

They talked over the arrangements that had been made. 
Two bombers roared in, three minutes apart. One belonged to 
General George Kenney and the other to General Carl Spaatz. 
When the air generals walked from their planes, all had the 
butts of their automatic pistols showing in their shoulder hol 
sters. The firearm had long been part of their battle dress. 
MacArthur quietly suggested to Kenney that maybe they d bet 
ter leave their guns in the planes. Within marching distance 
were some 15 enemy divisions, and if the Japanese didn t mean 
what they had pledged, a dozen or so pistols wouldn t make 
any difference. Later it was discovered that this gesture created 
a most favorable impression among the Japanese. 

The automobiles that were furnished were old and worn 
out, and the procession to the New Grand Hotel at bombed- 
out Yokohama was made at a slow pace. Every hundred feet or 
so an armed Japanese soldier stood with his back to the little 
cavalcade. They were guarding the American Supreme Com 
mander in the exact fashion that they guarded their Emperor. 
This was significant. 

MacArthur was shown to his hotel suite and offered a pri 
vate dining room. He shook his head and answered that he 
would eat in the regular dining room with his officers. So far, 
everything was clicking according to schedule. 

The following day the details regarding the surrender pro 
cedure on board the U. S. S. Missouri were threshed out. Mac- 
Arthur had insisted that both Generals Wainwright and Perci- 
val, the American and British Commanders at Manila and 
Singapore, who had been so humiliated and mistreated, should 
be flown in from the prison camps in Manchuria and be pres 
ent at this high moment of triumph. He also insisted that 
each commander of the several Allied forces that had helped 
in the victory share in the great day. 

And now one of the great Sundays in all American history 
was at hand. A bright sun shone on the steel quarter-deck of 
the battleship Missouri. The moment of actual surrender had 

The Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mamoru Shige- 
mitsu, embarrassed that he could not fit his wooden leg under 
the small table, nervously fumbled with his pen, while he sought 
to find the line where he was to place his signature. MacArthur, 
tense, grim-faced, snapped out the words: "Sutherland! Show 
him where to sign!" 

It was MacArthur s day. He dominated every moment of the 
great drama. As he played his part, he seemed to stand head 
and shoulders above them all. 

The last signature had been affixed. Only one final gesture 
remained MacArthur s report to his own people. For him, in 
a way, it was the most sacred and solemn part of the unforget 
table ceremony. His voice was low and tense with emotion. 
Slowly he read: 

My fellow countrymen: 

Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended, A great 
victory has been won. The skies no longer rain death the seas 
bear only commerce men everywhere walk upright in the sun 
light. The entire world lies quietly at Peace, The Holy Mission 
has been completed. And in reporting this to you, the people, 
I speak for the thousands of silent lips, forever stilled among the 
jungles and the beaches and in the deep waters of the Pacific 

which marked the way. I speak for the un-named brave millions 
homeward bound to take up the challenge of that future which 
they did so much to salvage from the brink of disaster. 

As I look back on the long, tortuous trail from those grim days 
of Bataan and Corregidor, when an entire world lived in fear; 
when Democracy was on the defensive everywhere, when modern 
civilization trembled in the balance, I thank a merciful God that 
he has given us the faith, the courage and the power from which 
to mould victory. We have known the bitterness of defeat and the 
exultation of triumph, and from both we have learned there can 
be no turning back. We must go forward to preserve in peace 
what we won in war. 

A new era is upon us. Even the lesson of Victory itself brings 
with it profound concern, both for our future security and the 
survival of civilization. The destructiveness of the War potential, 
through progressive advances in scientific discovery, has in fact 
now reached a point which revises the traditional concept of War. 

Men since the beginning of time have sought peace. Various 
methods through the ages have been attempted to devise an 
international process to prevent or settle disputes between na 
tions. From the very start workable methods were found in so far 
as individual citizens were concerned but the mechanics of an 
instrumentality of larger international scope have never been 
successful. Military alliances, balance of power, Leagues of Na 
tions all in turn failed leaving the only path to be by way of the 
crucible of war. The utter destructiveness of war now blots out 
this alternative. We have had our last chance. If we do not devise 
some greater and more equitable system Armageddon will be at 
our door. The problem basically is theological and involves a 
spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that 
will synchronize with our almost matchless advance in science, 
art, literature and all material and cultural developments of the 
past two thousand years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save 
the flesh. 

We stand in Tokyo today reminiscent of our countryman, 
Commodore Perry, ninety-two years ago. His purpose was to bring 
to Japan an era of enlightenment and progress by lifting the veil 
of isolation to the friendship, trade and commerce of the world. 
But alas the knowledge thereby gained of Western science was 
forged into an instrument of oppression and human enslavement. 
Freedom of expression, freedom of action, even freedom of 
thought were denied through suppression of liberal education, 


through appeal to superstition ana through the application of 
force. We are committed by the Potsdam Declaration of Principles 
to see that the Japanese people are liberated from this condition 
of slavery. It is my purpose to implement this commitment just 
as rapidly as the armed forces are demobilized and other essential 
steps taken to neutralize the war potential. The energy of the 
Japanese race, if properly directed, will enable expansion ver 
tically rather than horizontally. If the talents of the race are 
turned into constructive channels, the country can lift itself from 
its present deplorable state into a position of dignity. 

To the Pacific basin has come the vista of a new emancipated 
world. Today, freedom is on the offensive, democracy is on the 
march. Today, in Asia as well as in Europe, unshackled peoples 
are tasting the full sweetness of liberty, the relief from fear. 

In the Philippines, America has evolved a model for this new 
free world of Asia. In the Philippines, America has demonstrated 
that peoples of the East and peoples of the West may walk side 
by side in mutual respect and with mutual benefit. The history 
of our sovereignty there has now the full confidence of the East. 

And so, my fellow countrymen, today I report to you that your 
sons and daughters have served you well and faithfully, with 
the calm, deliberate, determined fighting spirit of the American 
soldier and sailor based upon a tradition of historical truth, as 
against the fanaticism of an enemy supported only by mytho 
logical fiction. Their spiritual strength and power has brought 
us through to victory. They are homeward bound take care of 

It was as if he, too, were signing off for good. He had 
reached the end of the long trail. From now on it seemed cer 
tain that everything that came to his life would necessarily be 
in the nature of anti-climax. 

But Time was to prove how wrong was this surmise. 




Six days after the formal surrender on the great battleship 
Missouri, MacArthur drove the 30 miles from Yokohama to 
Tokyo. Much of the ride was through devastated areas. On all 
sides was ruin and desolation. 

A Guard of Honor from the old yth Cavalry Regiment, of 
the ist Cavalry Division, was drawn up in front of the U. S. 
Embassy Chancery, which was the scene of the simple and 
memorable ceremony of raising the American flag. In some 
ways it was almost as touching to MacArthur as the actual sur 
render on board the battleship. His voice betrayed the inten 
sity of the moment, as he gave the order: 

General Eichelberger: Have our country s flag unfurled and 
in Tokyo s sun let it wave in its full glory as a symbol of hope 
for the oppressed and as a harbinger of victory for the right. 

Two years later in a short message to the Daughters of the 
American Revolution MacArthur described an incident that 
occurred that day while he was inspecting the bombed chancery, 
which was some little distance from the Embassy itself. It can 
best be told in his own words: 

I recall that in Tokyo, at the end of the bloody Pacific trail, 
after unfurling our flag over the American Embassy on Septem 
ber 8, 1945, while inspecting the fire-gutted Chancery building 
I saw hanging upon the wall as I approached an uninjured por 
trait of George Washington. It moved me more than I can say. 
It seemed peculiarly appropriate that he should be there calmly 
awaiting the arrival of American arms. For it is from the example 
of his wise and resolute leadership in releasing the forces of 
human freedom from the shackles of tyranny and oppression, and 


the indomitable qualities of his compatriots, our forebears, that 
has come much of the inspiration which since has fired American 
hearts with the will to victory, as we stubbornly have fought to 
defend that freedom, won for us by the grace of God and the 
invincibility of our Continental Arms. 

It required little time to refurbish the Embassy residence 
sufficiently for MacArthur to occupy it; the American bombers 
had smashed everything around it, but it had come through 
without a scratch. He remained at the Grand Hotel in Yoko 
hama less than a week, and then a comfortable house owned by 
the Sun Oil Company in a part of the city called The Bluff was 
turned over to him. Here a small mess was set up that in 
cluded his military secretary, his language expert and his per 
sonal doctor, who was also acting as his aide. Within a matter 
of two or three weeks he moved, lock, stock and barrel, to 
the beautiful Embassy, and a few days later Mrs. MacArthur 
and Arthur flew from Manila to join him there. 

The first steps in the difficult occupation procedure had gone 
ahead without a hitch. The Japanese government faithfully 
carried out every detail of the surrender agreements, and the 
swift demobilization and disarming of the millions of enemy 
soldiers proceeded even more swiftly than was expected. It was 
already evident that the great gamble involved in trusting and 
then making use of the Emperor s authority and his government 
was working out perfectly. 

But back in America, and particularly in Washington and 
New York, there was an increase in the violent criticism in 
press and radio against retaining the Emperor. It was a part of 
the positive demand that Hirohito and his dynasty and the 
entire fascist government must be destroyed root and branch. 
The bell-wether of the attack was the Communist Daily Worker, 
and its lead was followed by a group of papers that included 
two or three of the largest and most respected newspapers in 
New York City. Hand in glove with the press assaults went the 
same type of intense criticism by a number of broadcasters with 
nation-wide hookups. 

The "line" had been laid down before the surrender, but 
within a few days after its formal announcement by President 

Truman, a concerted attack was opened by the Daily Worker 
against both MacArthur and the Emperor, Over the country 
generally the same voices and the same publications that had 
demanded turning Germany into a pastoral state were now urg 
ing a similar policy toward Japan. In many instances the prop 
aganda for a harsh peace included bitter smears of General 
MacArthur personally. 

On Friday, September 14, the Daily Worker ran a full-page 
story under the heading: 


It was signed by one Jos Balahap, and was announced as 
the first of three articles. It claimed that MacArthur owned 
stock in several business ventures in Manila, and that he was 
associated with a number of capitalists there. The intimation 
was that the Supreme Commander in Japan would now pro 
tect the fascists and the capitalists in Japan. 

On the same morning that the Daily Worker printed its per 
sonal blast against MacArthur the General issued a statement 
in answer to the flood of adverse comment that had been di 
rected against himself and the occupation. It read: 

I have noticed some impatience in the press based upon the 
assumption of a so-called soft policy in Japan. This can only 
arise from an erroneous concept of what is occurring. . . . 

The first phase of the occupation must of necessity be based 
upon military considerations which involve the deployment for 
ward of our own troops and the disarming and demobilization 
of the enemy. . . . 

When the first phase is completed, the other phases as provided 
in the surrender terms will infallibly follow. No one need have 
any doubt about the prompt, complete and entire fulfillment of 
the terms of surrender. The process, however, takes time. . . . 
The surrender terms are not soft and they will not be applied 
in kid-gloved fashion. 

Economically and industrially, as well as militarily, Japan is 
completely exhausted and depleted. She is in a condition of utter 
collapse. Her governmental structure is controlled completely 
by the occupation forces and is operating only to the extent 


necessary to insure such an orderly and controlled procedure as 
will prevent social chaos, disease and starvation. . . . 

It is extraordinarily difficult for me at times to exercise that 
degree of patience which is unquestionably demanded if the 
long-time policies which have been decreed are to be successfully 
accomplished without repercussions which would be detrimental 
to the well-being of the world, but I am restraining myself to the 
best of my ability and am generally satisfied with the progress 
being made. 

Instead of succeeding in its obvious intent at conciliation, 
the statement seemed to have the exactly opposite effect. Radio 
commentators and many important newspapers continued to 
pound away at MacArthur and his occupation methods with 
constant demands that the Emperor be pushed aside and pun 

Three days after his initial statement MacArthur sought to 
enlighten his critics and the public by a report so reassuring 
and optimistic that there could no longer be any legitimate 
criticism of his work. America was in the midst of a vast emo 
tional urge that her soldiers everywhere be brought home. 
The near-miracle of bloodless occupation that had occurred in 
Japan played directly into this sentimental demand, and the 
bright hope that MacArthur now held out gave a tremendous 
importance to his announcement. Its implied promises had 
been well augmented a few days before when General Eichel- 
berger had been quoted as saying, "If the Japs continue acting 
as they are now, within a year this thing should be washed up." 

The MacArthur statement read: 

The smooth progress of the occupation of Japan has enabled 
a drastic cut in the number of troops originally estimated for that 
purpose. . . . 

By utilizing the Japanese governmental structure to the extent 
necessary to prevent complete social disintegration, insure in 
ternal distribution, maintain labor and prevent calamitous dis 
ease or wholesale starvation, the purposes of the surrender terms 
can be accomplished with only a small fraction of the men, time 
and money originally projected. . . . Probably no greater gamble 
has been taken in history than the initial landings where our 
ground forces were outnumbered a thousand to one, but the 
stakes were worth it. 

Then came the proposal that was to bring on a violent reac 
tion from those who wanted a harsh and bitter revenge on Ja 

As a consequence of the saving in men the occupation forces 
originally believed essential are being drastically cut, and troops 
will be returned to the United States as rapidly as ships can be 
made available. Within six months the occupational force, unless 
unforeseen factors arise, will probably number not more than 
two hundred thousand men, a size probably within the frame 
work of our projected regular establishment, and which will 
permit the complete demobilization of our citizen Pacific forces 
which have fought so long and so nobly through to victory. Once 
Japan is disarmed, this force will be sufficiently strong to insure 
our will. . . . 

It was ready-made for the headline writers and for sensa 
tional radio announcers. But somehow the happy news it car 
ried to mothers and wives and to millions of American families 
fell like a deadly bomb on the Department of State in Wash 

Two days after the statement was issued in Tokyo Acting 
Secretary of State Dean Acheson held a press conference in his 
office. The secret pro-Russian and anti-Japanese groups within 
the Department obviously had found their hoped-for leader in 
the Acting Secretary. In answer to a question by a reporter, 
Acheson formally replied: 

I have no comment to make on the military aspects of what 
General MacArthur stated. That is a purely military matter with 
which the State Department is not properly concerned. 

I think I can say that I am surprised that anybody can fore 
see at this time the number of forces which will be necessary in 
Japan. That may come from iny inadequate knowledge of the 
military field, however, and it is not very important. 

The important thing is that the policy in regard to Japan is 
the same policy which has always been held by this Government 
and is still held so far as I know and I think I know. 

In carrying out that policy the occupation forces are the in 
struments of policy and not the determinants of policy, and the 
policy is and has been that the surrender of Japan will be carried 
out, that Japan will be put in position where it cannot renew 


aggressive warfare, that the present economic and social system 
of Japan which makes for a will-to-war will be changed so that 
will-to-war will not continue, and whatever it takes to carry this 
out will be used to carry it out. 

The day before, President Truman at his regular press con 
ference had quietly explained that he had not been informed 
of the possibilities of the drastic cut in the Japanese occupa 
tion forces until he had seen it in the General s statement. 
MacArthur had first estimated that he would need an army of 
occupation of 500,000. He had later reduced that estimate to 
400,000, and now there was a possibility that it might be as 
low as 200,000. The President s calm appraisal was quite dif 
ferent from the somewhat ill-tempered viewpoint of Acheson, 
Acting Secretary of State. 

Acheson s appointment as Undersecretary of State was yet to 
be confirmed, and when it came up before the Senate five days 
later it brought on a four-hour debate, with Senator Wherry, 
Republican of Nebraska, and his Democratic colleague, Sena 
tor Chandler of Kentucky, vigorously challenging the remarks 
and the attitude of Acheson toward MacArthur. Acheson s ap 
pointment was in the end confirmed by a Senate vote of 69 to 
i, although previously a motion to send the nomination back 
to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for clarification 
had been voted down by 66 to 12. 

The rather violent reaction against MacArthur by Acheson 
at least brought two things into the clear: the definite proof 
where MacArthur s most determined and bitter opposition at 
home lay, and the release by the President of the full text of 
the initial policy relating to Japan as prepared by the Far East 
Sub-committees of the Coordinating Committee of the State, 
War and Navy Departments and approved by the President. 

The paper had been drawn shortly before the occupation be 
gan and had been radioed out to Manila for MacArthur s sug 
gestions and approval. Four days after the Japanese surrender 
on the Missouri, a special messenger arrived by plane from 
Washington with the full text for MacArthur. It had been 
kept a top secret, however, and its publication now apparently 
relieved MacArthur of much of the personal attacks being 

made against him on account o his conciliatory attitude to 
ward the Emperor and the Japanese government. 

The sections of the long directive that applied particularly 
to the Supreme Commander s relation with the Emperor and 
the government read: 

The authority of the Emperor and the Japanese government 
will be subject to the Supreme Commander, who will possess all 
powers necessary to effectuate the surrender terms and to carry 
out the policies established for the conduct of the occupation 
and the control of Japan. 

In view of the present character of Japanese society and the 
desire of the United States to attain its objectives with a mini 
mum commitment of its forces and resources, the Supreme Com 
mander will exercise his authority through Japanese governmental 
machinery and agencies, including the Emperor, to the extent 
that this satisfactorily furthers United States objectives. 

The Japanese government will be permitted, under his instruc 
tions, to exercise the normal powers of government in matters of 
domestic administration. This policy, however, will be subject 
to the right and duty of the Supreme Commander to require 
changes in governmental machinery or personnel, or to act di 
rectly if the Emperor or other Japanese authority does not satis 
factorily meet the requirements of the Supreme Commander in 
effectuating the surrender terms. 

One other paragraph gave MacArthur the exact powers that 
would prove of inestimable value a little later in the occupa 

Although every effort will be made, by consultation and by 
constitution of appropriate advisory bodies, to establish policies 
for the conduct of the occupation and the control of Japan which 
will satisfy the principal Allied powers, in the event of any dif 
ferences of opinion among them, the policies of the United States 
will govern. 

The sudden outbreak against General MacArthur by the Acting 
Secretary of State tended to bring into the open the tight little 


group within the Department that had quietly been wielding a 
considerable influence in Far Eastern affairs. Acheson, whose 
successful law firm had often represented foreign governments 
in financial dealings with the United States government, had 
long been one of the principal members of this group. Associ 
ated with him in various degrees at this time were John Carter 
Vincent, John Paton Davis, head of the China Division, John 
Stewart Service, Lauchlin Currie, Owen Lattimore, Alger Hiss 
(chief of the department of political affairs) and a number of 
others. Later it was to come out that at least one member of this 
group was a member of a Communist cell exerting tremendous 
influence in many matters that concerned the whole of the ex 
plosive Western Pacific and East Asia. 

The subversives concerned were largely occupied with the 
general premise that Chiang Kai-shek and his Nationalist Gov 
ernment must be defeated and replaced by the Chinese Com 
munist "agrarian reformers/ At the same time they secretly 
insisted that the whole involved fascist government of Japan 
must go, and the doors be opened for a large-scale infusion 
of Red agents. The ultimate fate of Korea was tied into 
the idea that some day this long abused country of 30,000,000 
inhabitants would become a Communist People s Republic. 

There had been, however, a definite opposing right-wing 
group in the State Department led by Undersecretary Joseph 
C. Grew that included Dr. Stanley Hornbeck, Joseph Ballan- 
tine, Eugene Dooman, Adolf Berle, James C. Dunn and a num 
ber of other able and highly patriotic men. During the war years 
President Roosevelt had largely functioned as his own Secretary 
of State, but with his death and the succession of the inexperi 
enced Truman the State Department had been able to regain 
some of its former power and influence. 

When Stettinius succeeded the ailing Cordell Hull in late 
1944, he devoted most of his energy to establishing the United 
Nations, and the direction of the important Far Eastern affairs 
was left to the older permanent department officials. Conse 
quently, during the spring and summer of 1945, Grew and his 
associates were able to a considerable extent to check the Ache- 
son crowd of liberal left-wingers, to supervise the general terms 
of surrender laid out at Potsdam and to control the drafting of 

the wise and liberal terms in the initial policy statement fol 
lowing Japan s collapse. 

Byrnes had been appointed Secretary of State only a few days 
before the Potsdam Conference opened in Berlin early in July. 
Upon his return to Washington, Undersecretary Grew, worn 
and discouraged over the sudden strength being developed by 
the Achesonites, presented his resignation. Eugene Dooman, 
long associated with Grew in Tokyo, and now in charge of 
the important Far Eastern section, likewise resigned. 

Thus by August of 1945 there had disappeared most of the 
opposition to the infiltration of the Communist line into the 
sections of the State Department that made policies concerning 
Japan, China, the Philippines and Korea. In the place of the 
loyal and devoted Americans who had been in control, there 
now appeared a group of men who were anti-Japanese, anti- 
Chiang Kai-shek, anti-free Korea, but decidedly pro-Commu 
nist Chinese. 

A short time before this date, Dean Acheson had resigned as 
first assistant secretary, but when Grew and Dooman resigned 
Secretary Byrnes at once telephoned Acheson and asked him 
to return to the State Department to take Grew s place in the 
far more powerful position of undersecretary. Acheson lost no 
time in re-orienting the Department regarding the four vitaj 
areas: China, Korea, the Philippines and Japan. He assigned 
John Carter Vincent as head of the Far Eastern Section, replac 
ing the experienced and conservative Eugene Dooman. Vin 
cent, as an advisor to the American Embassy in China, had 
long shown and exercised his determined pro-Communist lean 
ings regarding China. He called in John Stewart Service (who 
shortly before this had been arrested in connection with stolen 
documents in the famous Amerasia magazine case) to head 
the important State Department information service. George 
Atcheson, who had been sent back from China by Ambassador 
Hurley for his then pro-Chinese Communist attitudes, was 
now dispatched to Tokyo as one of MacArthur s advisors. Owen 
Lattimore, standing quietly in the background, was a most vital 
adjunct of this new and dominant radical group in the State 

There was neither time nor opportunity for the new crowd 


to change materially the context of the over-all Policy Directive 
given to MacArthur on September 6. Nor did the group really 
show its hand until Dean Acheson shortly blustered into pub 
lic view with his outbreak against MacArthur s pronouncement 
that the Japanese occupation had progressed so smoothly that 
the number of American occupation troops might be reduced 
to 200,000 within six months. 

President Truman had backed MacArthur, and the Gener 
al s Senate friends had shown their teeth against the new un 
dersecretary, so that any immediate attempt on Acheson s part 
to harass MacArthur too openly was postponed. 

MacArthur was by no means unaware of the dangers and 
stresses that faced the Far Eastern world. He had many lines 
of information that led from Washington to his own office. A 
continuous flow of visitors from America kept him alerted to 
many of the secret moves within the Washington government 
and administration. A number of his friends who came to see 
him in Tokyo were deeply concerned over the state of affairs 
and by the betrayal into Communist hands of the fruits of 
Allied victory in both Europe and Asia. 

His chief concern was his own problem of building the new 
life in Japan and guarding it against attacks from without and 
within. But China, too, was close to his heart, and he watched 
with misgiving and despair as the China tragedy unfolded. 

The first objective of the Acheson-Lattimore crowd in regard 
to China had been to get rid of tough and wise Ambassador 
Patrick J. Hurley and replace him with a man they could 
handle. Their second and third tasks would be to win over 
President Truman to their plan, and then quietly discredit Lt. 
General Albert Wedemeyer and conceal the recommendations 
he had made regarding the integrity of China and Korea. 

Acheson planted political advisors George Atcheson, John 
Service and other fellow-travelers at MacArthur s headquarters. 
Their strategy would now be to peck away at MacArthur, 
while their columnist, newspaper and radio friends in America 
continued to denounce him and the Emperor. One of the 
first steps would be quietly to force MacArthur to accept an 
Allied Council that would include a strong Soviet representa 
tive, who could thus get his foot in the door. 

Early in October 1945, at the meeting of the Council of For 
eign Ministers in London, Secretary of State Byrnes had his 
own troubles with Molotov, Soviet Minister, who demanded 
that an Allied Control be set up in Tokyo that would give 
Russia an actual voice in decisions. British Foreign Minister 
Sevan did not entirely disapprove of the Russian suggestion. 
But Byrnes was able to check the move to turn the purely ad 
visory Allied Council into a projected Control Council. How 
ever, the final decision in the matter was put off until the 
coming December meeting of the Foreign Ministers in Mos 

When a twin plan of control, as a result of this later Moscow 
meeting, was finally released, the Associated Press carried the 
statement that General MacArthur had seen and did not object 
jto the new Japan Control Plan before it was approved at Mos 
cow. The report further stated that he had been kept informed 
throughout the conference of matters dealing with Japan and 
Far Eastern affairs, MacArthur, harassed and resentful, issued 
a formal denial on the last day of December 1945: 

The statement attributed to a Far Eastern Commission Officer 
that I "did not object to the new Japan Control Plan before it 
was approved at Moscow" is incorrect. On 31 October my final 
disagreement was contained in my radio to the Chief of Staff 
for the Secretary of State, advising that the terms "in my opinion 
are not acceptable." Since that time, my views have not been 
sought. Any impression which the statement might imply that 
I was consulted during the Moscow conference is also incorrect. 
I have no iota of responsibility for the decisions which were made 

I might add that whatever the merits or demerits of the plan, 
it is my firm intent, within the authority entrusted to me, to 
try to make it work. The issues involved are too vital to the 
future of the world to have them bog down. With good will on 
the part of those concerned, it is my fervent hope that there 
will be no insuperable obstacles. As I said before, it is "my full 
purpose to see it through." 

Later an additional paragraph was issued by MacArthur that 
read as follows: 


General MacArthur never received any information or com 
munication whatsoever from the Moscow conference during the 
meeting, and did not even know Japan was being discussed until 
he saw it announced in the daily press. 

In Washington the newly created Far Eastern Commission 
composed of Allied members was apparently to be the final 
governing body, but Byrnes had slipped in a clause or two at 
Moscow that to a great extent left the actual power in Ameri 
can hands. Before any of the Allied Commission s instructions 
reached MacArthur, they must first be passed by the Commis 
sion, then drafted by the State Department, then approved by 
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then finally sent on to the Supreme 

As a matter of fact the Commission included at various 
times such distinguished American members as Major General 
Frank McCoy and Nelson T. Johnson, former ambassador to 
China. Early in January 1946 the Commission visited Tokyo, 
and its contact with MacArthur was pleasant; and in general 
its suggestions were most acceptable to him. Much time was 
to elapse before it was discovered that the pinks had planted a 
man squarely in the center of the commission as an advisor to 
wise old General McCoy. 

The four-power Allied Council for Japan, set up in Tokyo, 
however, was a horse of another color. The United States, 
China, the British Commonwealth and the Soviet Union were 
represented, but the Russians had high hopes that through 
their machinations within this Council they would be able to 
take a strong hand in the actual occupation and begin their 
tactics of Red infiltration. But when MacArthur addressed the 
Allied Council at its opening session on April 5, 1946, he skill 
fully reduced it to its actual status of a purely advisory capac 
ity. Never once did he make a direct move of any kind against 
the Russian delegation. The 185 members of the Soviet mis 
sion in Tokyo were permitted to go and come as they pleased, 
and no attempt to supervise them was ever undertaken. But 
they shortly found they were utterly powerless to interfere. 

MacArthur s initial talk at the Council was a masterpiece of 
gentle but complete deflation: 

I welcome you with utmost cordiality in the earnest anticipa 
tion that, in keeping with the friendship which has long existed 
among the several peoples represented here, your deliberations 
throughout shall be governed by goodwill, mutual understanding 
and broad tolerance. As the functions of the Council will be ad 
visory and consultative, it will not divide the heavy administrative 
responsibility of the Supreme Commander as the sole executive 
authority for the Allied Powers in Japan, but it will make avail 
able to him the several viewpoints of its members on questions 
of policy and action. I hope it will prove to be a valuable factor 
in the future solution of many problems. 

. . . Any advice the Council as a whole or that of any of its 
individual members may believe would be helpful to the Supreme 
Commander will at all times be most welcome, and given the 
most thorough consideration. As my manifold other duties will 
not normally permit me to sit with the Council, I have designated 
a deputy to act as Chairman thereof. To promote full public 
confidence in its aims and purposes, it is advisable that all formal 
sessions be open to such of the public and press as existing facil 
ities will accommodate. There is nothing in its deliberations to 
conceal, even from the eyes and ears of our fallen adversary. 
Through such a practice of pure democracy in the discharge of 
its responsibilities, the world will know that the Council s de 
liberations lead to no secret devices, undertakings or commit 
ments. . . . 

The local Russian representatives found themselves com 
pletely frustrated in their ambition first to gain some real 
authority and -then to stir up as much trouble as possible. Mac- 
Arthur s conduct had been meticulous. But any time that it 
became necessary to check interference, he had a clear directive 
to fall back on as the source of his assumptions. 

Here in Tokyo it was quite a different situation that faced 
the usually victorious and arrogant Russians, accustomed to 
dictating and dominating the inter-Allied conferences and 
then pushing through their treaty-breaking moves in Europe. 

During the very earliest days of the occupation a matter of ut 
most importance began quietly to come to a head. One of the 
first Japanese callers at SCAP (Supreme Commander Allied 


Powers) Headquarters in the Dai-Ichi Building in Tokyo was 
Prince Konoye, who had replaced a militarist as Prime Minister 
and on the previous April 7 had himself been succeeded by the 
elderly Kantaro Suzuki. MacArthur received Konoye with cour 
tesy and listened attentively while his worried guest blamed the 
militarists for the war, with the additional excuse that the new 
government had long feared the rise of Communism and social 
unrest among the Japanese masses. 

MacArthur replied that reform for the people was necessary, 
and that there must be a strong minister of education who 
would insist that the truth of the war be taught in the schools. 
He pointed out that the world did not trust Japan, and that 
only through education would she regain true respect* 

In effect MacArthur made it clear that the Japanese govern 
ment need no longer worry about the militarists, for he could 
handle them. The government s problem now was to get the 
truth to the civil population. 

Exactly three weeks later Prince Konoye sought a second in 
terview with MacArthur. Again he blamed the militarists and 
the old threat of Communism for the country s downfall, but 
he carefully exonerated both the Emperor and the great cap 
italist groups of all responsibility. MacArthur promptly laid 
out a four-point program that must be started at once: Liber 
alize the constitution; extend suffrage to women; hold elec 
tions; clear militarists out of all control. 

When the Minister protested that the Cabinet completely 
lacked the authority to accomplish these things, MacArthur 
quietly pointed out that the entire Japanese government ex 
isted by the Supreme Commander s sufferance, and that he 
personally proposed to authorize all these changes. The Em 
peror and the government must assist in every way possible. 

Both visits apparently were preliminary moves for a visit by 
the Emperor. A member of the Imperial Household quietly 
broached the subject. MacArthur sent back word that the Em 
peror s call would be most welcome, and that the General 
would receive him informally at the Embassy and not at his 
office. It would have humiliated the Emperor to require him 
to come to his conqueror s office in a public building. 

The Supreme Commander had his military secretary waiting 

to meet the Emperor when he stepped out of his old-fashioned 
black limousine at the entrance to the Embassy. The Emperor 
was so emotionally disturbed that he was actually shaking. 
Brigadier General Fellers saluted, and the Emperor almost 
timidly reached for his hand. The officer greeted him most 
cordially, and they walked side by side to the study. The 
friendly reception had a marked effect. The Emperor realized 
immediately that he faced no trying ordeal. 

MacArthur had sent word that the Emperor was to bring his 
own interpreter, and when the two entered the study the door 
closed behind them. Only the three were there, and the whole 
atmosphere was one of complete friendliness and good will. 
They talked over certain phases and incidents in the long war 
and other matters of immediate concern. The total result was 
of immense significance. 

Back in America the announcement of the meeting brought 
violent reactions. The leftist hang-the-Emperor advocates in 
sisted that instead of receiving him so courteously, MacArthur 
should have had him tried and condemned. 

It is possible that no single move by MacArthur during his 
five years in Japan had a more profound effect on the Japanese 
people than this. As the story of Hirohito s visit spread 
throughout the Japanese islands, it seemed to put a final 
stamp of complete acceptance of the realities of the occupation 
and of the series of great reforms that were being initiated. 
MacArthur had proved that he had no intention of publicly 
humiliating their Emperor. The peopk everywhere began to 
understand that the American Commander who had had such 
a part in their defeat was now a true friend who was trying his 
best to help them into a new way of life. 

MacArthur never left any doubt for a single moment, how 
ever, where the real authority lay. Again and again he quietly 
broke up Japanese schemes and smart little dodges to circum 
vent his wishes. At one point Foreign Minister Shigeru Yo- 
shida called on him to announce that the Cabinet now headed 
by Baron Shidehara had decided to resign, because of a direc 
tive ordering a purge of totalitarian-minded Japanese officials. 
After the protest registered by their resignations had been pub 
licized, the Baron would duly succeed himself. 


Mac Arthur did not raise his voice when he answered: "Mr. 
Minister, you tell Baron Shidehara that there is no one for 
whom I have greater respect or in whose ability to carry out 
my directives I have greater confidence. However, if he and his 
Cabinet resign tomorrow, it will be clear to the people of Ja 
pan that they are unable to carry out my objectives. Baron 
Shidehara may thereafter be acceptable to the Emperor as the 
next Prime Minister, but he will not be acceptable to me." 

Brigadier General Courtney Whitney, who had charge of 
civil affairs on the Staff of SCAP, was present during the in 
terview, and when he had walked down the hall with the 
Minister, he asked him if it was quite clear what the General 
meant. The Foreign Minister answered, "Too clear!" 

The end of the Japanese war had brought many changes 
within the high command in Washington. The Joint Chiefs of 
Staff still functioned, but Admiral King was replaced by Ad 
miral Nimitz, after King refused to agree to the amalgamation 
of the Navy in a single Department of National Defense. 

General Marshall asked for retirement, and in October 1945 
he was replaced as Army Chief of Staff by General Eisenhower. 
In the State Department the collaborators of Undersecretary 
Acheson with their definite internationalist and pro-Red Chi 
nese views had absorbed many of the key positions, particu 
larly those dealing with the Far East, Russia and the United 
Nations. A vast flight of left-wingers from the Office of War 
Information (OWI), the Federal Economic Agency (FEA), 
Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and Office of Inter-American 
Affairs landed in the State Department. In the single year of 
1945 some 5,000 outsiders infiltrated into this once conserva 
tive Department and began to take over. The vital move gave 
State a new and dangerous pink complexion. 

[A one-time Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, J. Anthony 
Panuch, several years later testified to a Senate Internal Secu 
rity Sub-committee that the final design of this transfused ide 
ology was "a socialized America in a world commonwealth of 
Communist and Socialist states, dedicated to peace through col- 

lective security, political, economic and social reform, and the 
redistribution o national wealth on a global basis." Hundreds 
of these new radical State Department recruits, he pointed out, 
were shunted over the world, particularly into China and Ko 
rea and into MacArthur s occupational machinery in Japan. The 
extent of the damage they were able to do is beyond comput 
ing. Most of their subversive work is deeply hidden in secret 
State Department files or long ago has been taken out and de 
stroyed. Even if a determined and sincere effort were to be 
undertaken, it is doubted if the full story could ever be 
pieced together. The stark results, however, stand out in all 
their overpowering terror: a Red China, an uncertain For 
mosa, a broken and almost helpless Korea, and an entire Far 
East handicapped, weakened and at the mercy of a ruthless 
international Communism.] 

Ambassador Patrick J. Hurley flew back to Washington from 
China. Partly because of his poor health and partly because 
of his angry report criticizing the personal loyalty of certain of 
his aides belonging to the State Department group of pro- 
Communist Chinese, his immediate resignation, submitted No 
vember 26, 1945, was accepted. General Marshall had been 
relieved as Army Chief of Staff only six days when President 
Truman sent for him and insisted that he must replace Hurley 
in China. While his instructions were being formulated, Mar 
shall was busy before a Senatorial committee that was investigat 
ing the Pearl Harbor disaster and in particular trying to jog 
his usually keen memory into recalling where he was the night 
before and the morning of December 7, 1941. 

Who drew up Marshall s actual instructions in China still 
remains a mystery, but it appears that they were partly writ 
ten by John Carter Vincent, leftist head of the Far Eastern sec 
tion of the State Department. The document was carefully 
gone over both by the President and General Marshall, as well 
as by Dean Acheson, Undersecretary of State. It was based on 
the general proposition that the civil war must end, and there 
must be unity and peace in China; Chiang Kai-shek must open 
the inner circles of his Nationalist government to the repre 
sentatives of Mao Tse-tung s Communist group, and Red Chi 
nese troops must ultimately be incorporated into the armies of 


a United China. This proved to be the exact sort of deadly ta 
tics that gave the Chinese Communists the power ultimately t 
weaken and render impotent the Nationalist government. 

At this time the Chinese Communists held only a small pai 
of China. On August 14, 1945, the day Japan surrendered, 
Srno-Soviet pact was signed in Moscow in which Stalin pron 
ised to recognize and sustain Nationalist China as the singl 
government for the vast country. But as the Russian armie 
in Siberia drove down into Manchuria and Northern Korea, i 
was immediately evident that they were concerned primarily ii 
helping to arm and direct the Chinese Communists, in thei 
losing fight against Chiang Kai-shek s Nationalist government 
Chiang s army had been wearing itself out for more than sevei 
consecutive years in fighting the Japanese and at the same tim< 
opposing the Chinese Communists. 

The pro-Mao leftist crowd within the U. S. State Depart 
ment, backed by the endless barrage of American writers anc 
radio commentators who followed the line laid down by Lat 
timore s Institute of Pacific Relations, had long before this de 
dded who should win. The phrase "China unity" apparently 
meant that Chiang Kai-shek s exhausted government was even 
tually to be forced by both the United States and Russia 
(with the United Nations approval) to accept the collabora 
tion of the Communist Chinese revolutionary government 01 
to go down before it. 

The unrealistic document that General Marshall took with 
him to China pointed the way to this ultimate Communist 
domination. He was met at the Shanghai airport by Lt. Gen 
eral Albert C. Wedemeyer, military advisor to Chiang Kai-shek 
and head of American armed forces in China. Wedemeyer 
was experienced, astute and long-headed. He understood the 
nuances embodied in Marshall s instructions and the impossi 
bility of Chinese unity, Red style, save by completely giving 
way to the Chinese Communists. He was aware that the Chinese 
Reds were far from the simple and independent agrarian re 
formers that the Lattimore-inspired writers and radio com 
mentators and their misguided liberal friends had told Amer 
ica they were. 

But Marshall insisted that the Chinese Communists com- 

prised only a minority political party that must be brought into 
Chiang s government to attain unity. In his eyes the two op 
posing Chinese groups were not too dissimilar from the two 
great political parties in America. 

Wedemeyer respectfully asked his old chief how he would feel 
about the Republican party at home, for instance, if it were 
armed to the teeth and was determined to gain control by force 
and as the result of an open civil war. But apparently Mar 
shall had been too well indoctrinated by Acheson s men to heed 
the advice of one of the few senior American soldiers who un 
derstood how dangerous it was to try to effect compromises or 
make political deals with the Kremlin and its tools. 

Marshall s first move was on January 13, 1946, when he ar 
ranged a tentative truce with both armies frozen in their posi 
tions of that moment. There was, however, a provision that 
Nationalist troops could restore Chinese authority in certain 
portions of Manchuria long held by Japan. The Chinese Com 
munists soon broke the truce, and civil war was resumed. Shortly 
after this Marshall flew home for consultation with the Presi 
dent and with Acheson s left-wing advisors. 

On his return in March of 1946 he was met at the Tokyo 
airfield by MacArthur. Not once did Marshall mention his dif 
ficult China assignment or discuss with MacArthur how the 
turn of affairs there might affect the whole Far Eastern sit 
uation and the problems involved in the occupation of Japan. 
The isolation of MacArthur from the currents of policy in 
Washington was deliberate and complete* 

From the time of his arrival in China, Marshall exercised 
rontinued pressure on the Nationalist government to bring in 
the Communist groups. Finally, in July 1946, when he met 
with no success, he declared an embargo on the sale of all 
arms and munitions to both sides in China. Chiang Kai-shek s 
struggle with the Reds called for large quantities of small arms 
and ammunition as well as motor transport and aircraft. Now 
he was completely cut off from fresh supplies* 

But the embargo iiad little effect on the Chinese Commu 
nists. The Soviets saw to it that they were well supplied with 
arms and ammunition. The Russian agreement with America 
had arranged that the surrender and disarming of the Japa- 


nese forces in China and Manchuria was to be made to Chi 
nese Nationalist representatives. But vast quantities of arms 
and munitions were turned over by the Japanese to the busy 
Russian troops, and the almost inexhaustible military dumps 
were deliberately left unguarded by the Soviet troops so that 
the Chinese Communist forces could supply themselves as they 

Less than a month after Marshall s embargo was ordered, 
President Truman, won over to the United-China-at-any-price 
idea and to the left-wing conception of the Chinese Commu 
nists as being simple agrarians, now issued an additional exec 
utive order that China was not to be allowed to secure any 
surplus American army weapons "which could be used to fight 
a civil war." 

This embargo was greatly responsible for the slow but cer 
tain whittling away of the resistance of the Nationalist gov 
ernment. The growing pressure of the Chinese Communist 
forces was revitalized by the arms and munitions the Russians 
furnished and by secret Red military aid and advice. 

Lt. General Wedemeyer did everything in his power to off 
set the working of the unfair embargo that denied aid to the 
Nationalist government while Russia armed the Communist 
elements. Even after the embargo was formally lifted in May 
1947, the State Department managed to keep all real military 
help from reaching the Nationalists by simply holding up ship 
ping permits. Marshall, then Secretary of State, eventually or 
dered Wedemeyer to make a full investigation of both the 
Chinese and the Korean situations. The report Wedemeyer de 
livered was an extraordinarily wise and far-seeing analysis, but 
neither its findings nor its solemn warnings were followed. 
Instead, its suggestions concerning the formation of a strong de 
fense organization in South Korea were pigeonholed by order 
of Secretary of State Marshall, who ordered General Wede 
meyer to step out of the picture. 

In April 1948 the Republican-controlled Congress voted the 
sum of $125,000,000 for definite military aid for Nationalist 
China. But once again the move was effectively scuttled 
by the action of the State Department, and its collaborators in 
the Department of Commerce, in holding up the delivery of 

the desperately needed arms and ammunition. Months went 
by until all chance of blocking the Moscow-supported Red Chi 
nese advances had gone, and Chiang Kai-shek was actually 
forced to flee to Formosa. Here from December 1949 on he was 
virtually abandoned to his fate by China s oldest and most 
trusted friend, the United States, while Britain and other im 
portant United Nations members did their best to force Amer 
ica to follow their lead and recognize the Chinese Communist 
regime and do business with it. 

Even during his first year in Japan MacArthur had no illu 
sions regarding the nature of the forces that opposed him botk 
in Washington and in Moscow. During the early days of the 
occupation the State Department had sent out to him as a spe 
cial advisor, with the rank of minister, George Atcheson, an 
attractive career officer. Atcheson had been one of Ambassador 
Patrick J. Hurley s people in China, but he had been won over 
to the pro-Communist Chinese side by certain Americans who 
opposed Grew. When Atcheson arrived in Tokyo, MacArthur 
sent for him and showed him a letter he had received frankly 
warning the Supreme Commander that Atcheson was a pink. 

Atcheson s face reddened, but he made no attempt at dis 
avowal when he handed the letter back to MacArthur. 

"I just wanted you to see this so we can start off on a fair and 
square basis," MacArthur explained without the slightest bit 
terness. "The cards are now face up on the table." 

Never again did MacArthur make any reference to the 
letter, nor did he exclude Atcheson from policy meetings 
or in any way show any resentment against him. Gradually 
Atcheson began to understand the problems MacArthur faced 
in Japan and to appreciate how mistaken he had been regard 
ing the true ambitions of the Chinese Communists. Soon he 
was as loyal and ardent a member of the MacArthur team as 
there was in Tokyo. 

On his way home to Washington for a conference Atcheson 
lost his life in the mid-Pacific when his plane was forced down 
through lack of gas. Investigation showed suspicious evidence 


of sabotage at the Guam base, where the reserve gas tanks, 
checked as full at Tokyo, had been emptied. MacArthur was 
shocked and deeply grieved at the loss of Atcheson. 

He was well aware that there were a number of Japanese 
Communists working under the secret direction of the Soviet 
mission in Tokyo. The legalizing of labor unions had been 
one of the original tenets of MacArthur s occupation di 
rectives, and it was evident that Red influences were pene 
trating these circles, and that serious trouble might break out. 
On May 20, 1946, he moved quickly to forestall what might 
have become a most difficult situation. He realized that there 
would be sharp reaction in America against his bold step, and 
he met it head-on in his statement: 

I find it necessary to caution the Japanese people that the 
growing tendency towards mass violence and physical processes 
of intimidation, under organized leadership, present a grave 
menace to the future development of Japan. While every possible 
rational freedom of democratic method has been permitted and 
will be permitted in the evolution now proceeding in the trans 
formation from a feudalistic and military state to one of demo 
cratic process, the physical violence which undisciplined elements 
are now beginning to practice will not be permitted to continue. 
They constitute a menace not only to orderly government but 
to the basic purposes and security of the occupation itself. . . . 

Again MacArthur was attacked by large groups in America, 
who were either unconscious of the intent of Red agents oper 
ating over the world or were converts to their ideas. He per 
sonally was unimpressed by their promises or their threats, 
and on the first anniversary of the Japanese surrender he is 
sued a lengthy statement that restated his own beliefs: 

A year has now passed since the surrender terms were signed 
on the battleship Missouri. Much has been accomplished since 
then much still remains to be done. But over all things and 
all men in this sphere of the universe hangs the dread uncertainty 
arising from impinging ideologies which now stir mankind. For 
our homeland there is no question, and for the homelands of 
others, free as are we to shape their own political order, there 
is no question. But which concept will prevail over those lands 
now being redesigned in the aftermath of war? This is the great 

issue which confronts our task in the problem of Japan a prob 
lem which profoundly affects the destiny of all men and the 
future course of all civilization. . . . 

Should such a clash of ideologies impinge more directly upon 
the reorientation of Japanese life and thought, it would be no 
slight disadvantage to those who seek, as intended at Potsdam, 
the great middle course of moderate democracy, that a people 
so long regimented under the philosophy of an extreme con 
servative right might prove easy prey to those seeking to impose 
a doctrine leading again to regimentation, under the philosophy 
of an extreme radical left. . . . 

The goal is great for the strategic position of these Japanese 
Islands renders them either a powerful bulwark for peace or a 
dangerous spring-board for war. 

Carefully phrased as was this gentle rebuke against Com 
munism, it drew the fire of the radical cabal in the State De 
partment. In Japan there continued to be constant Red 
pressure on the Japanese labor leaders to embarrass the new 
government in every possible way. And there was no letup on 
the interference from Moscow and the efforts to discredit Mac- 

About the middle of September 1948, the Soviet ambassa 
dor in Washington publicly assailed the occupation and 
charged that MacArthur s policies were in direct violation of 
Allied policy and the Potsdam Declaration. MacArthur did 
not bother to answer directly this charge, but he used the op 
portunity to explain his reaction to the Communist intrusions 
in Asia and over the world. The final paragraph of his state 
ment showed how fully aware he was of the rising danger. It 

Perhaps the most unsuccessful effort made anywhere by world 
wide propaganda to instill communistic principles has been in 
Japan. Here concepts leading to disorder, discontent and ultimate 
chaos have made little headway. Despite frantic communistic 
efforts to achieve the contrary, Japan continues calm, stable and 
well ordered. The Communists and those who adhere to their 
cause thus have a growing sense of frustration at their failure m 
Japan. If they had their way they would repeat there the de 
plorable state of affairs which they have brought about in certain 
unhappy European centers. 


Four months later the Soviet ambassador, using as his 
sounding board the Far Eastern Commission, renewed his at 
tacks on MacArthur. The General fully understood how all-im 
portant it was to hold this strong Pacific outpost of Japan 
against the constant Communist pressure and intrigue. He 
decided that the time had arrived when he must fight back 
openly and with everything he had. His statement was blunt 
and concise: 

* I have noted the statement of the Soviet Ambassador before 
the Far Eastern Commission in derogation of American policy 
and action with reference to Japan. It has little validity meas 
ured either by truth or realism and can be regarded as mainly a 
continuation of the extraordinary irresponsibility of Soviet propa 
ganda. Its basic cause is the complete frustration of the Soviet 
effort to absorb Japan within the orbit of the Communistic ide 
ology. This effort has been incessant and relentless from the 
inception of the Occupation. 

It has sought by every means within its power to spread dis 
cord and dissension throughout this country, reduced by the 
disasters of war to an economy of poverty, originally threatening 
the actual livelihood of the entire nation. It has hoped to so 
mutilate the masses that there could be imposed through the re 
sulting despair and misery a Godless concept of atheistic totali 
tarian enslavement. 

It has failed, due largely to the innate common sense and con 
servatism of the Japanese people, the concepts of democratic 
freedom implanted during the Occupation, and the progressive 
improvement in living conditions. The resulting rage and frus 
tration has produced, as in the present instance, an unbridled 
vulgarity of expression which is the sure hallmark of propaganda 
and of failure. 

In a way it was almost a lone fight that he was makirfg. He 
could not have been unconscious of the many roadblocks that 
were constantly being erected against him. But he had his 
own way of getting around them. 

He knew, too, that there were powerful interests within the 
United Nations that were far from happy over the sturdy new 
Japan he was helping build. He was approaching the comple- 

tion of the great task of a Japanese treaty that must be able to 
withstand the demands and intrigues of nations and ideologies 
concerned with their own selfish interests in the Far East and 
with their problems of appeasing or actually fostering a 
marching Communism. 

A Red China was swiftly rising. Between the Sea of Japan 
and the Yellow Sea lay the peninsula of Korea, divided, help 
less and uncertain. It might well be next on the Red schedule 
of doom. 

Within the shadowy inner circle of Lake Success, where the 
United Nations often met in confusion and uncertainty, there 
were currents and tides that seemed to be moving not only 
against the best interest of America, but against a free and dem 
ocratic world. Proof was yet to come of the treacheries and 
perfidies of innocent-looking groups and individuals within 
the U. S. government who had long been betraying America 
and poisoning the minds of the public and officials alike. Later 
would break the great exposes of the Hiss trial and conviction; 
the startling facts of Communist penetration eventually brought 
out by the McCarthy and McCarran committees and later by 
the Jenner and Velde investigations. 

Shortly after his arrival in Tokyo, MacArthur s alert intelli 
gence officer, Major General Charles A. Willoughby, unearthed 
the sordid ramifications of the Sorge Red spy ring, which ex 
tended from Moscow and Tokyo to Shanghai and Chung 
king. The findings had proved beyond any doubt the extent 
and enterprise of the Russian secret agents and their friends. 
Certainly MacArthur and his G.H.Q. were alive to what was 
going on in China and Korea. 

Here in Tokyo he had by one means or another been able to 
check through Washington friends and visitors the many at 
tempts by forces within the administration to undermine his 
stewardship. Time and again he had countered the efforts of 
the Russians to force an entering wedge into Japan. He knew 
that only by keeping a tight rein on the expanding Japanese 
labor unions and the small radical native groups could he keep 
Communist agents from fostering Red movements that might 
lead toward bitter internal trouble and eventual civil war. It 


was the usual Communist tactics: infiltrate, then divide and 
rule. From the beginning of the occupation he had never 
failed to nullify all such attempts. 

He was fully conscious, too, of the scores of State Depart 
ment liberals who had been dumped in his lap as advisors and 
specialists. They had been specially chosen for the job, and 
for the most part they were far more concerned with at least a 
partial socialization of Japan and the accompanying humilia 
tion of the Emperor than in building a sturdy, free state that 
might be on the side of America in her ultimate fight for sur 
vival. He was aware, as well, that radical converts and trouble 
makers of the same type were being sent out from Washington 
to muddy the waters of South Korea and to forestall her at 
tempt to establish a free, united republic of Korea. 

China was swiftly approaching the crisis in her long civil 
war. It was all too evident to MacArthur that the Communist 
sympathizers and the innocent dupes in the State Department 
were materially aiding in the collapse and defeat of Chiang 
Kai-shek s forces. 

He could do little more than wait for the final tragedy of 
Nationalist China s fall, just as he had been forced to wait 
while doom closed about him in Manila in the late autumn 
of 1941. 



Despite the constant official tension and the eternal excursions 
and alarms, the days and weeks slipped by pleasantly for the 
little MacArthur family in Tokyo. 

Life under the expansive roof of the American Embassy was 
gracious and satisfactory. To a large degree the old daily rou 
tine that MacArthur had begun back in the summer of 1919 
when he had been appointed superintendent of West Point 
was again in order. He had continued it on through his days 
as Army Chief of Staff in Washington, and then after his mar 
riage to Jean Faircloth in his years in Manila. Even as command 
ing general of the Southwest Pacific theatre in Brisbane and 
finally at the end of the bitter war campaigns, he had largely 
followed his own quiet way of life here in Tokyo. 

In attempting to describe his unique schedule it probably 
would be fair to say that quite without realizing it he was 
complete master of his own house and as well of all his waking 
hours. The devoted Jean found her own full measure of hap 
piness in taking care of her husband and their growing boy 
Arthur. It never for a moment occurred to any of them, in 
cluding himself^ that the Supreme Commander was not the 
final figure of authority in regard to every detail of the life 
about him. He did not demand it to be so; it simply was an ac 
cepted fact. 

In that observation there may be the key to his sometimes 
misunderstood personality. Without consciously meaning to do 
it, he quietly dominated everything that came within his orbit. 
Yet in a strange way he was a complete creature of habit. His 
own personal wants were very few. He cared little for food and 
nothing for drinks. He enjoyed an occasional cigarette and 
his pipes and a cigar at night. At no time in his life did he 
have more than a handful of really intimate friends, and never 
did he lean heavily on them. He was sentimentally attached 
to a few men who had fought the wars with him and with 
whom he enjoyed reminiscing, but they were not necessary 
to his happiness or existence. His one true adult companion was 
his beloved Jean. 

He attended no parties, dinners or receptions, save at the 
one or two rare moments when he looked in at some official 
gathering of special significance. He worked seven days a week 
at his office. During the early periods of the war and occupa 
tion he was always on tap for any emergency business tha 
came up day or night. Jean, likewise, had little or no social 


life, and her only public appearances were on occasions where 
she semi-officially represented the General. Oddly enough, this 
austere and secluded existence appealed strongly to the Japa 
nese, In their eyes it gave to General MacArthur the distinct 
touch of a superior and removed being, separated by several 
degrees of caste from ordinary mortals. 

When the day s work was done and dinner was over, he usu 
ally found an hour s relaxation in an evening movie shown in 
the large reception room at the Embassy, attended by the mem 
bers of the household and any soldiers of the Embassy guard 
who were off duty and cared to look in. Only on rare occasions 
was there an outsider or house guest. 

The General ordinarily arose a little before 8. He leisurely 
shaved with one of a set of old-fashioned straight razors that his 
father had given him as a West Point graduation present, and 
then he methodically went through a few simple calisthenics. 
He was still addicted to the worn and shabby black-gold- 
and-gray cadet bathrobe that had been his companion through 
the years. After he breakfasted with Jean, he read whatever 
papers were at hand, and around 10 o clock started for his of 
fice. He usually remained there until somewhere between 
1:30 and 2:00. Then he returned to the Embassy for lunch. If 
there were no guests, he ate alone with Jean. But two or 
three times a week there was a fairly large semi-official lunch 
eon party for very important people of one kind or another 
from Stateside. All his official entertaining was at these luncheon 

After the business of eating was ended, the General would 
push back his chair and embark for an hour or longer on an 
uninterrupted discourse on some phase of the occupation or 
the Far Eastern problem or the latest Russian move. These in 
formal sessions seemed to give him a chance to let off steam 
and to further the development of his own ideas and conclu 
sions. Almost invariably his guests left with the definite im 
pression that they had been listening to one of the profound 
and brilliant intellects of the time. It was not unusual for men 
who had arrived in Japan bent on finding proofs for their pre 
conceived theories and criticisms regarding the Japanese occu- 

pation or the Supreme Commander to be completely won over 
by this after-luncheon magic. 

After the party had been dismissed, the General invariably 
went to his bedroom and enjoyed an hour s sleep. Then he re 
turned to his office, usually to remain at work until 7 or 8 or 
even later. It was a killing schedule for the members of his 
immediate staff, but they did little grumbling. Their affection 
for their chief was expressed in loyalty and devotion almost 
beyond measure. 

The General s evening meal was usually simple and almost 
frugal. Jean would have supper with him regardless of the 
hour, and after the meal they would usually take their regular 
seats in the front row of the chairs arranged before the moving 
picture screen. The General s personal choice still remained 
the westerns, but he found relaxation in almost any action film. 

After the movie he and Jean would usually spend an hour or 
two alone, and then he would pace back and forth across the 
wide reception room and into the great hall. He had a clear 
path of more than 100 feet and as he walked his beat he usu 
ally gave wings to his thoughts, laying out the immediate prob 
lems that faced him. "Thinking out loud" comes the nearest to 
interpreting this nightly pacing. 

Jean would almost literally see to it that he was tucked in 
bed, open the windows and then check in on Arthur. The Gen 
eral was doing exactly as he wanted to do, and the same thing 
could be said about his wonderful wife. She had found her 
complete role in looking after the man and the boy to whose 
comfort and happiness she had dedicated her life. 

From the days in Manila in the late 19305, when the war 
clouds began to settle down over the China Sea, the General 
had given up his ancient habit of long hours of reading before 
he went to sleep. The library of his penthouse atop the Ma 
nila Hotel had been lined with books from his father s own 
large and carefully chosen collection. But he no longer felt the 
driving need for concentrated reading. Besides most of his 
favorite military and historical books had been lost in the war. 

When the decision had been made on the afternoon of 
Christmas Eve in 1^41 that the military command and the Phil- 


ippine government would transfer immediately to Corregidor, 
the lovely penthouse with all its books and silver, its pictures 
and priceless mementos was left in the care of the Fili 
pino houseboy, Castro. 

At the time the city was recaptured in March and April 
1945, the Manila Hotel was found burned and completely 
gutted. MacArthur had hardly settled in one of the civilian 
homes still standing, when Castro came to headquarters and in 
broken English explained that he had something that belonged 
to the General, 

One of the various enemy dignitaries who had used and 
abused the penthouse had been an official from the Japanese 
Foreign Office, who eventually had changed residences to one 
of the fashionable homes on the Luneta. The old MacArthur 
houseboy had gone along with him, his eye on a heavy box of 
silver that the Japanese diplomat had taken. The loyal servant 
had quietly put the long, heavy box in a darkened space under 
the stairs, well behind cases of documents and food. When the 
diplomat had hurriedly pulled out shortly before the Ameri 
cans landed on Luzon, the special box had been overlooked. It 
was this priceless cache that was now turned over to the Gen 
eral in Manila. 

Both he and Jean accepted the fact that the books in the li 
brary that had meant such a warm, intimate touch with the 
father would never be recovered. However, two or three small 
batches of books that had been sequestered by hotel servants 
began to appear. 

And later in Tokyo the same houseboy who had promptly 
joined up with the family in Manila accompanied Jean to Ja 
pan. Once settled in the Embassy, he took over his old job. One 
day late in the fall of 1945, he came to Jean with a newspaper 
that had a picture of a Japanese general who had just been 
taken into custody in Tokyo as a war criminal. The loyal Cas 
tro was burning with anger and excitement as he jabbed at 
the picture and insisted that he was one of the looters. 

" At him! at him! he insisted. "He General in Manila ho 
tel. He took! He took!" 

Jean and Colonel Sidney Huff called a car and with the serv 
ant drove to the house where the Japanese general had been ar- 

rested. Inside they found a hundred or more precious mili 
tary books looted from MacArthur s library in Manila. 

MacArthur s personal relation with the key members of his 
G.H.Q. staff had long been a matter of considerable specu 
lation and of some adverse criticism. He had at one and the 
same time been accused of being too loyal and easy going with 
his official family and of being too little concerned with their 
rewards and advancement. 

Apparently he had always taken a good deal for granted. 
During his years as Army Chief of Staff in Washington, in the 
years in Manila and during the war and occupation periods, 
he had been fully absorbed with matters of the highest im 
portance to the armed services and often to the very life of his 
country. He personally thought out most of the great moves 
and decisions involved in his responsibilities. The members of 
his staff were primarily occupied in implementing them. He 
was completely and exhaustingly absorbed by the larger as 
pects of military strategy and statesmanship. 

To many who knew him well he seemed to have little time 
left for the people who served him. The problems he faced 
used up the last ounce of his time and energy. For the ten 
years beginning in 1940 and even during most of the previous 
decade he struggled against terrific odds. As a consequence he 
left the routine of running his headquarters and its many de 
tails in the hands of his chief of staff. This included the very 
sensitive matter of promotions and decorations for his senior 
commanders and for the important members of his headquar 
ters staff. To many critics it seemed that MacArthur failed to 
appreciate how much these personal matters meant to the offi 
cers serving under him and how badly they were often handled 
by his responsible subordinates. 

Nor did he seem to be greatly concerned over rifts and angry 
feuds within his own personal staff. There were so many en 
ervating problems on a seemingly higher level that called for 
his personal decisions that the human equation often was ig 
nored or pushed aside. He had removed himself largely from 
all unnecessary contacts, and the barriers raised to relieve him 
from what appeared to be the small items involving such 
things as men s pride and rewards often reflected against him. 


There can be little doubt that there were injustices and 
oversights, and certainly in a number of individual cases there 
was real bitterness left. For instance, many of the friends of 
Lt. General Eichelberger felt that a grave injustice had been 
done him when he did not receive his fourth star. Eichelberger 
had gone out to MacArthur in the summer of 1942 as a lieu 
tenant general and had fought through all the campaigns from 
Buna to Mindanao. During the first three trying years of the 
Japanese occupation he had commanded the Eighth Army. At 
the end of more than six years of loyal and magnificent serv 
ice in the Pacific he had retired and returned to the States 
with the same three stars on his shoulder. In the summer of 
1954, in retirement, he was awarded his fourth star by the 

In the entire Southwest Pacific Command only Lt. Generals 
Kenney and Krueger and Vice Admiral Kinkaid received their 
fourth stars. Additional high promotions may have been pre 
vented by roadblocks erected in the Pentagon against Mac- 
Arthur and his theatre. 

In 1946 Sutherland, his chief of staff who had been with him 
even before Bataan and Corregidor, returned to America and 
was replaced by Major General Dick Marshall who had long 
been deputy chief. Eventually Marshall retired to become 
superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute, and he was 
succeeded by Major General Stephen J. Chamberlain, who had 
served MacArthur as G-g through the war from his arrival in 
Australia. Subsequently Chamberlain was replaced by Major 
General Paul John Mueller. 

As the old Bataan gang a tight little corporation of great 
pride and zeal along with other members of his intimate staff 
who had been with him for a number of years retired or were 
relieved, MacArthur found himself leaning more and more on 
Courtney Whitney, who had joined his staff in Brisbane in 1943 
as a colonel and finally was promoted to major general. Six 
months after Whitney s arrival in the Pacific he was made chief 
of the civil affairs at G.H.Q. He had resigned from the Regular 
Army in 1927 and for a number of years had practiced law in 

On the long road back to the Philippines from Australia 

Whitney had been assigned to the section of the staff that han 
dled in its office at G.H.Q. the operations of the Filipino gueril 
las. Once back in the Philippines, he was given the civil section 
dealing with the many problems of local reconstruction and 
later with delicate and important civil affairs in the Japanese 
occupation. He had to a most unusual degree a talent for 
translating to paper MacArthur s wishes and thoughts, and he 
became extremely valuable in the important task of writing 
out statements and announcements that gave the exact shade 
of meaning the General desired. 

Here in Tokyo during his years as Supreme Commander Mac- 
Arthur came into complete and final maturity. Almost 20 
years before these Tokyo days he had reached the top rung of 
the peace-time military ladder as Army Chief of Staff. Certainly 
no additional military honors remained for him to gain. He 
then graduated from soldiering into the higher echelon of 

As a matter of fact, his service ever since 1935, when he em* 
barked on his handicapped and misunderstood career as mil 
itary advisor to President Quezon, had cast him into the 
definite and sustained role of soldier-statesman. Part of his 
formal task with Quez6n was actually called "diplomatic rep 
resentation," and his influence on the thinking of both the Phil 
ippine commonwealth leaders and the Filipino people was of 
immense importance. 

This statesman side of his duties in Australia, and then again 
in the liberation of the Philippine Islands, was almost as valu 
able to his country as his purely military victories. With the 
momentous decision to send him to Japan as the proconsul of 
the wrecked and helpless nation, he stepped into a position that 
carried with it the personal responsibility for the life or death 
of American interests in these key islands of the Pacific. The 
subsequent moves he made and somehow was able to get Wash 
ington to accept had been decided on the highest moral and 
patriotic plane. 

Issues automatically became moral issues, his decisions rest- 


ing on the simple test of what is right and what is wrong. Plain 
truth and honor had almost been lost sight of by many during 
the years when America was being led into the war largely by 
the pressure of deceptions and downright lies. 

But the ancient verities still remained the basis of the great 
decisions that MacArthur made. Their simple honesty was the 
outward expression of his own moral character. 

Strong as had been his personal ambitions to be at the head 
in every endeavor, there had also been planted deep within 
him a high character standard from which there could be no 
deviation. The definitely superior mind he inherited had been 
supported and improved by his own energy and singleness of 
purpose. These qualifications tended to mark him with certain 
of the attributes of genius. As the years went by and his 
responsibilities increased, he never betrayed the West Point 
motto that had sustained him from his cadet days "Duty, 
Honor, Country." 

It was unfortunate that in the eyes of many people certain 
little human weaknesses apparently blurred the hard and rigid 
outlines of this unusual soldier. His need for study and -medita 
tion and for a quiet existence where he could work out his own 
solutions and decisions often made him liable to imputations of 
snobbishness and aristocratic superiority. He was accused of 
being aloof and lacking the common touch. 

Apparently he could never quite reconcile his inherent shy 
ness to the roar of the crowd. In his mature years he wanted 
persona] success only when it coincided with the success of his 
country; and his country always came first. He was sensitive to 
criticism, but there was a tough fiber in his character that made 
him invincible and incorruptible. As was evidenced in his 
handling of beaten Japan, he harbored no revenge but rather 
a broad humanitarianism and an understanding of the human 
needs of these broken and helpless people. 

It was with deepest concern that MacArthur watched the grad 
ual deterioration of the Nationalist government in China, 
brought about by America s lack of any intelligent long-range 


policy and by the deliberate plotting of Communist agents and 
their followers in high position in Washington and elsewhere. 
He had never met Chiang Kai-shek, but he looked upon him 
as a true comrade-in-arms and a thoroughly devoted Chinese 
patriot. He knew the details of the Generalissimo s unbroken 
fight against Russian-inspired Communist intrusion since the 
early igsos, and he knew that Moscow considered Chiang Kai- 
shek as its No. i enemy. 

From 1937 to V-J day the Generalissimo had been fighting 
for his life against Japan, and never for a day had he suc 
cumbed to any outside pressures that would compromise the 
integrity of his country. During these years he had to fight also 
the Communist Chinese armies, which had never aided him by 
making a single decisive move against the Japanese invaders. 
Always he must fight these two enemies, who, oddly enough, 
had a bitter and eternal hatred for each other. Always it was 
the long arm of the Kremlin that helped set the evil forces 
moving against Chiang Kai-shek. 

Since the turn of the century America had been the one 
permanent and unselfish friend that China could depend 
upon. John Hay s Open Door Policy had stood the test of time. 
Hay, as Secretary of State under President McKinley, had been 
in the forefront of the little group of men who at the turn of 
the century had remained steadfast in their belief not only 
that did much of America s destiny lie in the western Pacific 
but that her well-being rested to a large degree on her close 
friendship with China. A distinguished list of statesmen fol 
lowed this political philosophy Theodore Roosevelt and Elihu 
Root, Senators Lodge and Beveridge, Herbert Hoover and 
Charles Evans Hughes and, in the earlier days of his adminis 
trations, Franklin D. Roosevelt. 

The pattern of Stalin s global strategy for ultimate Com 
munist world domination had assumed dangerous proportions 
by the early spring of 1948. The Soviets immediate designs 
in Europe had been accomplished with terrifying complete 
ness. The bankruptcy of the Roosevelt-Churchill policies, fol 
lowed by the failure of Truman and his American advisors to 
oppose Stalin at Potsdam in July 1945 had resulted in the com 
plete betrayal of Poland, the division of Germany and the iso- 


lation of Berlin. No effective opposition was made to the brutal 
conversion into Soviet satellites of the Eastern European bor 
der states from the Baltic to the Mediterranean and Black Seas. 
There had been nothing subtle or mysterious about these 
deadly Red operations; the confused and often leftist-advised 
American statesmen simply had not the experienced intel 
ligence, the long-range view or the courage to demand a 
show-down with Stalin, while America s military strength was 
at its maximum and her power beyond question. The dead 
hand of Roosevelt pulled the strings at Potsdam in July 1945, 
while Red influences were broadening in Washington. 

Early in March of 1948 MacArthur sent to a House committee 
an answer to a request for his own opinion of the Far East sit 
uation. It was almost in the nature of a declaration of faith. 
Part of his lengthy statement read: 

Because of deep-rooted racial and cultural and business ties, 
we are prone to overconcentrate on happenings and events to 
our East and to underemphasize the importance of those to our 
West. America s past lies deeply rooted in the areas across the 
Atlantic, but the hope of American generations of the future 
to keep pace with the progress of those of the past lies no less in 
the happenings and events across the Pacific. While fully avail 
ing ourselves of the potential to the East, to our western horizon 
we must look both for hope of a better life through yet untapped 
opportunities for trade and commerce in the advance of Asiatic 
races, and threat against the life with which we are even now 
endowed. For beyond . that horizon upon the outcome of the 
ideological struggles to which opposing forces are now engaged 
and the restoration of political, economic and social stability, 
rests war or peace, assurance or threat, hope or fear. 

It was in the latter part of 1947 that a new element entered 
the Tokyo scene in a definite attempt to boom MacAr 
thur again for President. The campaign that shortly got under 
way could hardly be expected to enhance MacArthur s popu- 

larity with the men who were in control of the Pentagon and 
the administration, and particularly with President Truman, 
who was interested in succeeding himself. The changes in the 
high command that shortly took place involved the succession 
to General Eisenhower as Army Chief of Staff by General 
Bradley on February 15, 1948, and the replacement a year later 
of General Marshall as secretary of state by Dean Acheson. 

Probably MacArthur had no exaggerated idea of his own 
chances in the coming Presidential campaign, but he did not 
feel he should evade any demand made on him. On March 9, 
1948, he issued a statement in which he made clear his own 
position. It read: 

I have been informed that petitions have been filed in Madison, 
signed by many of my fellow citizens of Wisconsin, presenting 
my name to the electorate for consideration at the primary on 
April 6. I am deeply grateful for this spontaneous display of 
friendly confidence. No man could fail to be profoundly stirred 
by such a public movement in this hour of momentous import, 
national and international, temporal and spiritual. While it 
seems unnecessary for me to repeat that I do not actively seek 
or covet any office and have no plans for leaving my post in 
Japan, I can say, and with due humility, that I would be recreant 
to all my concepts of good citizenship were I to shrink because 
of the hazards and responsibilities involved from accepting any 
public duty to which I might be called by the American people. 

The fact that the Wisconsin primary did not turn out too 
favorably for the MacArthur enthusiasts obviously made little 
difference to the General The following day there was some 
concern among his political friends whether he "would now 
withdraw his name from future consideration. He met the is 
sue head-on with the following cable: 

p April 1948 

To: Mrs. Mary E. Kenney, 
1746 Harwood Avenue, 
Lincoln 2, Nebraska. 

Thank you for your message. You may be sure that my state 
ment of March 9 that I was available for any public duty to 
which I might be called by the American people was not de 
limited to any particular political test but was a restatement of 


a concept of the responsibility of citizenship on which I then 
stood, I now stand, and I shall continue to stand as long as I live. 


The national MacArthur campaign for the Republican 
nomination was making small progress in its conflict with the 
machine-controlled candidacy of Governor Dewey when Mac- 
Arthur was invited to appear in Washington before the Senate 
Appropriations Committee. In a few weeks the nominating 
conventions would open, and a number of friends in America 
were urging upon him the idea that a great home-coming wel 
come, skillfully arranged at the right moment, might swing 
the Republican nomination in his favor. 

MacArthur would have none of it. How sensitive he was to 
making any possible political use of his formal invitation to 
appear before the Senate Committee was indicated in his an 
swer to Senator Bridges in which he turned down the invita 
tion. His statement dated May 29, 1948, concluded with the 
following paragraphs: 

... As to this theatre, I have already, directly and through 
representatives, expressed my views on such details and there is 
little that I could add to what has already been said thereon and 
is now before the Congress. 

Apart from this, it would be peculiarly repugnant to me to 
have it felt that I sought to capitalize to political advantage, 
as many have frankly urged, the public goodwill which might 
manifest itself upon my first return to American soil following 
the Pacific war. For such goodwill would find its inspiration in 
the victory which crowned our Pacific war effort to which count 
less gallant Americans, living and dead, contributed by unfailing 
and invincible devotion. Usurpation of such goodwill by me to 
serve a political end would be a shameful breach of their faith 
and a betrayal of the mutual trust on which was erected the 
cornerstone to the Pacific victory. . . . 

The subsequent July convention in Philadelphia brought a 
distressing awakening to many of his followers. The memory 
of the post-midnight treatment the Dewey machine meted out 
to the frail and pathetic figure of General Wainwright as he 
seconded the nomination of General MacArthur was not to be 
quickly forgotten. 

There can be little doubt that there was a steady hardening 
of the opposition against MacArthur in the inner circles of the 
administration, including the White House, the Department 
of State and the Pentagon as the crisis in the China situation 
advanced, and the Korean problem became more threaten 

Underneath the seeming calm in the exchange of cables 
and directives beween MacArthur and the men who were run 
ning affairs in Washington, there was brewing an intense and 
bitter personal conflict that sooner or later would almost cer 
tainly burst out into the open. 

By the close of 1949 the plot succeeded: China was lost 
to America and the free world. The once mighty bulwark 
against the advancing Russian Empire was now a Moscow sat 
ellite. Some 400,000,000 Chinese had been swept from the orbit 
of the democratic world into the Communist international net. 
By the fait accompli the situation of both Formosa and Korea 
became desperate. 

At the Cairo Conference in late 1943 Roosevelt, Churchill 
and Chiang Kai-shek had mutually pledged that with victory 
against Japan "in due course Korea shall become free and inde 
pendent/ Formosa was allocated to the Republic of China. 
When the Japanese made their offer of surrender on August 
10, it was hurriedly arranged in the Pentagon that Russia would 
receive the surrender of the Japanese troops north of the 38th 
parallel in Korea, and the Americans would do the same be 
low the line. This 3 8th parallel was thus accepted as the line of 
demarcation between the American and Russian zones of sur 
render if and when victory came. 

On August 12, six days after Russia declared war, her Sibe 
rian troops broke across the Korean frontier. The Japanese 
surrender came three days later, but Russia continued her 
march across Korea and drove deeply into Manchuria as well. 

Three weeks after the Russians crossed the northern Korea 
border, Lt. General John R. Hodge hurriedly disembarked in 
southern Korea with the first elements of his U. S. Corps. Im- 


mediately there was confusion, uncertainty and grave trouble. 
The Russian troops to the north were arrogant and uncoop 
erative, and shortly afterward all communication between the 
two zones was severed. 

It was obvious from the start that the Soviet occupation forces 
in Korea knew exactly what they wanted to do and had drawn 
complete plans how to do it. All during the Japanese war Ko 
rean escapees had been gathering in Siberia, and from these 
Koreans, who had in the meantime been Communist-indoctri 
nated, the Russians had organized a fair-sized army. This 
group became the nucleus of the native North Korean Red 
Army, and it was now rapidly expanded in the rugged, moun 
tainous country above the gSth parallel. 

Anti-Red opposition was promptly crushed, and local Com 
munist governments were set up under the full control of the 
Soviet representatives. The infiltration of Communist agents 
into South Korea followed at once, with assassination and ter 
ror as their principal weapons. 

Arrayed against this Russian plan to turn all Korea into a 
Communist satellite, General Hodge and his troops in South 
Korea operated under an unrealistic and flabby series of direc 
tives sent out from Washington. In 1947 Lt. General Wede- 
meyer had been ordered to look into the situation, but his 
final report with its key recommendation for a South Korean 
force capable of guaranteeing freedom was pigeonholed. Soon 
a swarm of experts from the State Department arrived in South 
Korea. Many of them should actually have been under the pay 
and patronage of Moscow. 

As far back as December 1945, at the Big Three Conference 
in Moscow, a Korean trusteeship for five years was agreed upon 
by Russia, Britain and the United States. But five months 
later negotiations for a unified country completely broke down, 
and the middle border was closed by the Communists. A year 
and a half later the United Nations set up a Korean Commis 
sion empowered to hold nationwide elections over the whole 
country, but Communists in North Korea not only boycotted 
the elections but sealed the border even tighter. On August 
25, 1948, the Communists held elections within North Korea 
for what they had proclaimed back in May as the People s Re- 

public of North Korea. The well-supervised free elections in 
South Korea took place ten days after the rival Russian-dom 
inated state was announced. On September 9 Dr. Syngman 
Rhee was inaugurated in Seoul as President of the Republic 
of Korea. 

Almost immediately after the inauguration, at which Mac- 
Arthur made the principal address, the United Nations in 
structed all foreign troops to leave Korea. It was a directive 
made to order for the Soviets. They had not only raised,, 
trained and equipped a force of 125,000 native North Korean 
Communists, but they had brought in thousands of Red Ko 
reans who had been serving in the Chinese Communist armies. 
More and more North Korean troops were enlisted, until even 
tually the army numbered 187,000 well-equipped and trained 
Red Koreans. They were furnished ample Russian-built artil 
lery, 173 tanks and 200 planes. On January i, 1949, the Rus 
sian troops pulled out, for they were no longer needed to 
guarantee the success of the Red plans. 

Six months after these Russian forces had been removed 
from the north the last of the American troops left for home. 
An American military mission of a scant 450 army personnel 
responsible directly to the Department of State was left be 
hind to carry on the tail end of the very possibly insincere 
American effort to prepare the Republic to meet the ad 
vancing threat of Communist North Korea. A training school 
for officers had been established, small arms plants had been 
opened, and American military equipment, at one time valued 
at $100,000,000, was used in arming a force of some 96,000 
South Korean soldiers, roughly one-half the number of the 
North Korean force. Unfortunately there was an almost com 
plete lack of tanks and anti-tank weapons, heavy artillery, 
fighter planes, proper signal equipment and the innumerable 
items that go into the making of even a small modern army. 

In October 1949 the U. S. Congress passed a Military Assist 
ance Act appropriating $10,000,000 for South Korea. But once 
again the State Department delayed interminably over the ex 
port permits so that only a dribble of the badly needed sup 
plies ever actually arrived. 

The do-nothing policy apparently had the support of Owen 


Lattimore, who had very clear-cut ideas of just what he wanted 
to happen in Korea. On July 17, 1949, he wrote in the radical 
New York Daily Compass: "The thing to do is let South Korea 
fall, but not to let it look as if we pushed it." 

The following month Lattimore was requested by the State 
Department to submit a memorandum regarding Korea. He 
suggested that "South Korea is more of a liability than an as 
set," and that the "United States should disembarrass itself 
as quickly as possible from its entanglements in South Korea." 

With the formation of the Republic of Korea and the with 
drawal of American Army forces, MacArthur s official concern 
with Korea was ended. He had never actually been in control 
of the occupation. From August 15, 1948, the doomed little 
country was under the complete charge of the State Depart 
ment. MacArthur s headquarters were not even favored with 
such intelligence reports as were secretly issued. 

His own experienced intelligence section under Major Gen 
eral Willoughby was well aware of the distinct possibility of 
an attack by the North Korean Communists during the spring 
or summer of 1950. Civil war might be postponed until fall 
when the rice crop had been harvested, but it was fairly clear 
that it was only a matter of time before hostilities would begin. 

Already the complete liquidation of Chiang Kai-shek s re 
sistance to Communist encirclement on the continent had oc 
curred. On December 9, 1949, the last legions of the 
Generalissimo were forced to retreat to the island of Formosa, 
100 miles or so off the mainland of China. 

Around Christmas time of this tragic year of 1949, MacAr 
thur s attention was drawn to a statement regarding Formosa 
sent up by the State Department under date of December 23 
to its representatives abroad. On January 3, 1950, a friendly 
United Press reporter in Tokyo managed to secure a copy of 
the statement and immediately cabled a sensational dispatch 
to America. The news story read in part: 

The United States State Department has notified its attaches 
that the loss of Formosa, island redoubt of the Chinese National 
ists, to the Communists was to be anticipated. 

The Department said the public must be sold on the idea that 


the island is of no strategic value in order to prevent the loss 
o prestige at home and abroad. . . . 

The document said all available material should be used "to 
counter false impressions" that the retention of Formosa would 
save the Chinese Government, and that its loss would damage 
seriously the interest of either the United States or of other 
countries opposing communism. 

"Without evidencing undue preoccupation with the subject/ 
it continued, "emphasize as appropriate any of the following 
main points. 

"Formosa is exclusively the responsibility of the Chinese Gov 
ernment. Formosa has no special military significance." 

The unfavorable publicity given the apparently secret plan 
tapered off until June 2, 1950, when Senator Robert A. Taft 
in a formal speech insisted that Formosa should be protected 
from Communist invasion by the U. S. Seventh Fleet. Three 
days later President Truman bluntly declared that no more 
military aid or assistance would be given to the Chinese Na 
tionalists there. 

On January 12 in a major address before the National Press 
Club in Washington Secretary of State Acheson virtually wiped 
Formosa off the American map. He called it outside "our de 
fense perimeter/ South Korea had likewise been excluded 
from the American defense outposts. His words could be in 
terpreted as meaning that America was no longer interested in 
Formosa or Korea. 

MacArthur s own Eighth Army in Japan had been reduced 
until it consisted of four understrength divisions made up 
largely of recruits whose battle training had been grievously 
limited by the nature of their occupational duties. The Sev 
enth Fleet still remained in Western Pacific waters, and a mod 
erate-sized Far East Air Force, under Lt. General George Strate- 
meyer, was based on Okinawa and Japanese home airfields. 

MacArthur s attempts to expose the overwhelming Commu 
nist threats in his part of the world appeared almost pathetic 
against the general apathy and the inspired pro-Communist 
propaganda that continued in America. It is clear that MacAr- 
thur sensed through some strange foreboding that a storm of 


events was about to sweep down on these western Pacific 

Willoughby s special intelligence reports on Korea during the 
spring days of 1950 told of the unrest along the g8th parallel 
and of obvious preparations for a large-scale invasion by the 
North Korean Reds. There had been much border trouble, but 
most of it centered on the rice raids that the Korean Commu 
nists made now and again into the country below the 3 8th 
parallel For several months there had been rumors of a com 
ing North Korean Communist invasion, but as the pleasant 
June days drifted by, there seemed a bare hope that the war 
might be postponed. 

John Foster Dulles was spending some time in Tokyo, 
working with MacArthur and Whitney on the final terms of 
the coming Japanese Treaty. Near the end of June Dulles flew 
to Korea for a quick look around before he returned to Amer 

On June 22 Dulles motored from Seoul toward the closed 
border along the g8th parallel. His swift survey caused him 
no great alarm. To his militarily inexperienced mind the 
South Koreans seemed fairly well prepared to meet any attack 
from the north. Neither Dulles nor the South Korean leaders 
apparently realized how inferior in training, equipment and 
numbers the democratic forces were to their Communist 
neighbors north of the gSth parallel. It was, however, fully 
known to MacArthur and his headquarters. 

At 4:00 on Sunday morning three days later thousands of 
Red Korean troops poured over the border, overwhelming the 
South Korean advance outposts and moving southward with 
a speed and power that swept aside all opposition. 

MacArthur was just rising on this tragic morning of June 25 
when the first news of the attack was brought to him. The only 
immediate military obligation involving his own forces had to 
do with the evacuation of 2,000 American and United Na 
tions personnel in the area of the Korean Republic. 

He must have recalled that it was on a Sunday morning, 
nine and a half years before this, that the Japanese invading 
planes first loosed their bombs on Luzon. 




At dawn on Sunday, June 25, 1950 (Far Eastern time), eight 
divisions of North Korean Communist armies broke across the 
gSth parallel The columns on the west lunged swiftly toward 
the capital city of Seoul, 30 miles away. 

At the same time other Red forces drove down the railroad 
and highways on the east coast and through the roads and trails 
in the mountainous center of the peninsula. The South Ko 
reans suffered from an almost total lack of anti-tank guns and 
heavy artillery. The marching columns of the North Koreans, 
plentifully supplied with tanks and artillery, soon turned the 
entrenched lines of the confused South Koreans into little more 
than papier-mach6 defenses. 

Frantic calls for help from President Rhee s tottering Re 
public were sent to Washington, Lake Success and Tokyo. 

President Truman hurried back to Washington from Inde 
pendence, Missouri, while plans were being made to call a 
hurried meeting of the United Nations Council Reverting now 
to Washington time, at 3 Sunday afternoon the Council adopted 
a resolution declaring that North Korea had committed a 
breach of peace and that hostilities must end at once and the 
North Koreans withdraw their forces. Fortunately the Soviet 
Union had been boycotting the Council because of the con 
tinued presence of the representative of Nationalist China. 

Sunday night, Washington time, the President and his ad 
visors from the Pentagon and the State Department decided to 
use American ships and planes to evacuate American civilians 
in South Korea, and to give President Rhee arms. MacArthur 
was immediately informed of the decision. At the same Blair 


House meeting it was argued that Formosa should be guarded 
and isolated from the war. The final decision was delayed for 
24 hours. 

The following night MacArthur was cabled that he was in 
command of any military action taken. So far his opinions had 
not been asked, nor had he volunteered any suggestions. At a 
meeting that same evening the decision was reached to use 
American air and naval forces, but there was to be no action 
above the 3 8th parallel. After the close of this meeting Louis 
Johnson and the Joint Chiefs of Staff hurried to the Pentagon 
and a call was placed to MacArthur over the scrambled-voice 
telephone. MacArthur was personally given the new orders. The 
following noon the President announced the decision to the 

Wednesday there was only bad news from Korea. MacArthur 
scrupulously relayed such reports as he received. Two South 
Korean divisions had disintegrated, and the following day 
MacArthur was permitted to make a front-line inspection. The 
weather report of conditions over Japan and Korea was about 
as bad as it could be, but early in the morning Major Tony 
Storey, pilot of MacArthur s Bataan, phoned the Tokyo Em 
bassy that the low ceiling was breaking over Korea and there 
was a chance they might make it. MacArthur said to get ready 
for take-off. 

It was a risky landing Storey made on a dangerous airfield 
near Suwon, to the south of Seoul. During the next <ji/ 2 
months he was to fly MacArthur 17 times to Korea, and always 
there were hazards to face. The General had complete faith 
in Storey s judgment and hunches, and as long as the pilot 
was willing to take a long chance he never hesitated. 

After an eight-hour inspection of the battlefront MacArthur 
was certain that the South Koreans were utterly doomed unless 
ground help quickly arrived. It was the only thing that could 
save them, and even that was problematical. A near panic had 
been brought on during the early withdrawal of South Korean 
forces across the broad Han river just below Seoul when key 
bridges were blown up leaving thousands of troops still on the 
north bank. If anything was to be done to save the desperate 
situation, it must be done at once. 

MacArthur flew back to Tokyo, and around 3 in the morn 
ing of June 30, Washington time, held a long telecon conver 
sation with Chief of Staff Collins and high Pentagon officers. 
He outlined the situation as he had just seen it, and answered 
questions. He was prepared to deliver only a professional mil 
itary analysis regarding the desperate outlook. He was giving 
no advice and suggesting no high policy decisions save that 
only American troops could salvage the desperate situation. 
Secretary of the Army Pace was immediately informed. 

At 4:57 that morning Secretary Pace awakened President Tru 
man and laid out the alarming facts. The President almost iift- 
mediately made his decision; alone and on his own responsi 
bility, he directed MacArthur to send in American ground 
troops from Japan and do everything he could to check the 
North Korean aggression. One U. S. regiment was to be sent 
at once from Japan, and a few hours later Truman gave the 
decision to dispatch 2 divisions. The war was on. 

The odds that MacArthur now faced brought to his mind 
the somewhat similarly discouraging conditions he had been 
forced to meet in the Philippines in early December 1941. 
Once again, he would simply do the best he could with what 
little he had. When the orders came on June 27 to contribute 
sea and air support, he hurried to Korea a G.H.Q. Advanced 
Command Group under Major General John H. Church. It was 
vigilant and active well before the arrival of the orders of 
June 30 to throw in ground forces, and it was of immeasurable 
value in securing information, in picking a vital spot for the 
first American troops and in expediting delivery of key sup 

It is an ancient maxim of war never to feed in troops piece 
meal. Nine times out of ten it is fatal, but MacArthur, proba 
bly because he had no alternative, immediately took that 
chance. He ordered Major General William F. Dean, of the 
24th Division, to fly in a small fighting group, named Task 
Force Smith for its commander, Lt. Colonel Charles B. Smith, 
of the sist Infantry. It would be difficult to conceive of a 
smaller outfit being dispatched alone into actual fighting 
against heavy enemy attacks: two companies of infantry, a bat 
tery of io5-mm. howitzers, two 4.2-inch mortar platoons, a 


platoon of 75-mm. recoilles rifles and six s^G-inch rocket- 
launcher teams. 

On July 4, 1950, this little group of fighting men established 
contact with the enemy near Osan, 25 miles below Seoul, and 
the following day it received the full impact of a Communist 
division, supported by Russian Tg4 tanks. For seven bloody 
hours these Americans stood against this frontal attack, while 
enemy units enveloped their flanks. They held out until they 
were forced to blow up their heavy weapons and fight their 
way on foot to the south. 

The rest of the U. S. gist Regiment with the 34th Infantry 
was rushed by boat across the Tsushima Strait to the port of 
Pusan and then raced north by rail and unloaded almost on 
the fighting lines. The Americans were now directly across the 
main rail and road system that led from the capital south to 
the key defense communication center of Taejon. The double- 
tracked rail lines then cut 65 miles southeast to Taegu, and 
then on straight south to the port of Pusan. 

For 15 days the two American regiments, with the addition 
of the igth Infantry of the 24th Division, fought with wild 
courage to hold the rail and road lines to Taejon. Colonel 
Bob Martin of the 34th Regiment sacrificed his life in the 
early fighting when he calmly fired the last round of his ba 
zooka at a Red tank less than 15 yards away. A few days later 
Major General Dean, personally leading a forlorn attempt 
to check a Communist charge, simply disappeared in the wild 
melee accompanying the withdrawal. "Trade space for time" 
was the order; gain at all costs the precious time to land two 
more of the U. S. divisions remaining in Japan time to bring 
in heavy weapons and tanks and supplies. 

In broad terms South Korea is a rough, mountainous pen 
insula with three main corridors running north and south be 
low the 38th parallel. Close to the east and west shorelines are 
both highways and railroads, with a third irregular passageway 
going down in the center between the two flanking routes. With 
the American troops now arriving in force and placed in bat 
tle positions, Mac Arthur s first military objective was to fight a 
series of delaying actions that would check the Red drives 
down the great corridors of approach. The main enemy drive 


The key battle lines of the Korean war. 

was now from the northwest, and MacArthur planned to stop 
it along the Naktong river, which curves eastward for 40 miles 
above the key center of Taegu. The Naktong then turns to 
the south to empty into the Straits of Tsushima. 

If MacArthur with his Americans and South Koreans could 
hold this rectangle at the extreme southeast corner of the Re 
public, it would furnish a beachhead 90 miles long and 60 
miles wide. This Pusan defense pocket was bound on the east 
and south by the sea, and on the west and north by the broad 
and shallow Naktong river. At the bottom of the defensive per 
imeter was the modern port of Pusan, and to the east lay the 
port of Pohang. The heaviest enemy pressure, it should be re 
peated, was from the victorious Red army driving down from 
Taejon on the northwest to the west bank of the Naktong. 

From the moment that orders arrived to throw in his ground 
troops, MacArthur assumed unofficial direction of both the 
South Koreans and the American troops. On July 7 the U. N. 
Security Council agreed on a unified command in Korea, with 
the United States to choose the commander and act as the 
U. N. agent. The following day President Truman appointed 
General MacArthur as Commander-in-Chief. This was almost 
six months after the General had turned 70". 

Since the Republic of Korea was not a member of the 
United Nations, President Rhee issued on July 19 his own for 
mal approval of the U. N. and Truman decision regarding 
MacArthur s position as Commander-in-Chief. 

From the moment of his appointment or rather as soon as 
the initial drive of the Red Koreans had been checked Mac- 
Arthur s mind was absorbed with the possibility of a great 
by-pass that would not only relieve the battered and hard- 
pressed South Korean and American troops but possibly trap 
and destroy most of the North Korean Army that had driven 
far to the south. He was now certain that the U. S. 24th and 
25th Infantry Divisions, and the brilliant ist Marine Brigade 
and the ist Cavalry Division which would soon disembark at 
the east coast port of Pohang along with the remnants of the 
eight Republic of Korea divisions, could hold on to the great 
Pusan beachhead, while he engineered some spectacular envel 
opment from the north, far north of the fighting. 

Shortly the buddy system was introduced into the American 
units whereby each American company integrated 100 South 
Koreans into its structure. Many of the Koreans were green, 
young recruits but they were brave and willing, and they 
blended into the American outfits in a way that increased the 
American unit s efficiency and power by a full third. The 7th 
Infantry Division, kept back in Japan for some such great 
stroke as MacArthur was brewing, took into its organization 
8,000 South Korean recruits, bringing its depleted strength 
well above the tables for war. 

The most obvious spot on either coast for a great surprise 
amphibious landing was at the Yellow Sea port of Inchon, 30 
miles to the west of the capital city of Seoul. It offered the pos 
sibility of cutting squarely across the enemy s main supply lines 
leading to the south, thus isolating almost his entire army. It 
was an ideal point but it had two serious drawbacks which 
would make a successful landing operation all but impossible: 
its 2 g-foot tides and the difficult approaches to its shorelines. 

But the more MacArthur studied the maps and the infor 
mation regarding the Inchon harbor and the off-shore island of 
Wolmi with its two-mile-long causeway leading to the main 
land, the more the project fascinated him. His planning staff 
back in G.H.Q. in Tokyo, however, thought that the chances 
of failure were too great for it to be seriously considered. 

The very fact that his own officers as well as the Joint Chiefs 
of Staff in Washington doubted its feasibility made him certain 
that the North Koreans likewise would never suspect that a 
vast amphibious landing would ever be attempted at Inchon. 
He ordered his planners to use the greatest secrecy in laying 
out the operation. 

On July 20 he issued his first formal estimate of the Korean 
situation. American troops had been fighting 15 days when the 
statement was released: 

With the deployment in Korea of major elements of the Eighth 
Army now accomplished, the first phase of the campaign has 
ended and with it the chance for victory by the North Korean 
forces. The enemy s plan and great opportunity depended upon 
the speed with which he could overrun South Korea, once he 
had breached the Han River line and with overwhelming num- 


bers and superior weapons temporarily shattered South Korean 
resistance. This chance he has now lost through the extraordinary 
speed with which the Eighth Army has been deployed from Japan 
to stem his rush. When he crashed the Han line the way seemed 
entirely open and victory was within his grasp. The desperate 
decision to throw in piecemeal American elements as they arrived 
by every available means of transport from Japan was the only 
hope to save the situation. The skill and valor thereafter dis 
played in successive holding actions by the ground forces in ac 
cordance with this concept, brilliantly supported in complete 
coordination by air and naval elements, forced the enemy into 
continued deployments, costly frontal attacks and confused logis 
tics which so slowed his advance and blunted his drive that we 
have bought the precious time necessary to build a secure 
base. . . . 

. . . Our hold upon the southern part of Korea represents a 
secure base. Our casualties despite overwhelming odds have been 
relatively light. Our strength will continually increase while that 
of the enemy will relatively decrease. His supply line is insecure. 
He has had his great chance but failed to exploit it. We are now 
in Korea in force, and with God s help we are there to stay until 
the constitutional authority of the Republic is fully restored. 

One week later after a thorough reconnaissance of the front 
MacArthur returned to Tokyo. The sound of battle was still 
ringing in his ears when he started on the i,5oo-mile flight to 
Formosa to see first-hand the Nationalist China forces there 
and to talk with Chiang Kai-shek. It was some consolation for 
him to know that President Truman had done an almost com 
plete turn-about from his statement in Chicago, January 3, 
1950, formally washing Formosa off the slate. The President 
then declared that the United States would furnish no more 
military aid to Chiang Kai-shek. Yet on June 27 when he had 
ordered MacArthur to give sea and air aid to the hard-put 
South Koreans, Truman announced that the United States 
would protect Formosa from invasion. 

At the same time, however, the President denied Chiang 
Kai-shek the right to assume operations against the Communist 

Chinese mainland. Thus the very same U. S. Seventh Fleet 
blocked the sea-roads both to and from Formosa. 

This meant that the Communist China leaders need have 
little worry about a possible Nationalist landing on the main 
land opposite Formosa, and that they could move Red troops 
northward to the Manchurian country above the Yalu river 
with perfect safety. It gave their Korean war plans a tremen 
dous impetus, because Red China could now enter the Korean 
war at any time she chose without fear of being attacked on 
her flank and rear by the Nationalist troops on Formosa. What 
seemed to the muddled public to be a far-sighted move by the 
President to save Chiang Kai-shek from invasion was actually 
nullifying all use for the present of the large Nationalist Army 
on Formosa as a fighting force against Red China. In one signifi 
cant gesture it banged the door shut in Chiang s face, and it 
opened the door into Korea for the Chinese Communists. 
Possibly as many as a million Red Chinese could now be re 
leased from the mainland opposite Formosa and made available 
for future assignment in Manchuria. 

Less than a week after the North Koreans had crossed the 
g8th parallel the Nationalist Chinese ambassador in Washing 
ton offered the State Department an advance force of 33,000 
troops that could be embarked for Korea within five days after 
the offer was accepted. The suggestion was politely refused. 
To some it seemed that the negative decision by the State De 
partment was definitely abetted by the dual facts that Britain 
had long recognized the Red China government, and that the 
Indian ambassador at Peiping was on intimate terms with the 
Communist regime. 

MacArthur spent the day and a half of his Formosa visit in 
specting the Nationalist troops and equipment and in friendly 
private talks with Chiang Kai-shek and his wife. Immediately 
upon his return to Tokyo he issued a carefully worded state 
ment that avoided any possible criticism of the administration 
in Washington: 

My visit to Formosa has been primarily for the purpose of 
making a short reconnaissance of the potential of its defense 
against possible attack. The policy has been enunciated that this 


island, including the Pescadores, is not under present circum 
stances subject to military invasion. It is my responsibility and 
firm purpose to enforce this decision. 

My conferences here on all levels have been most cord